Maintaining oral health in children

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How important is oral health for a child?

Maintaining oral health is critical for a child’s well-being. The mouth is filled with bacteria, and it’s important to regularly brush and floss to keep these bacteria from leading to painful tooth decay and oral infections. Poor oral hygiene in children can cause problems with eating, speaking, learning, and playing.

When should parents first take their child to the dentist?

Once the first tooth begins to come in, which usually occurs around the age of six months, is a good time to visit. At the latest, a child should see the dentist no later than his or her first birthday.

Do pacifiers affect the development of a child’s mouth?

Sucking on a pacifier does not affect the development of a child’s mouth, so long as he or she is under the age of four. After the fourth birthday, when the permanent teeth begin to come in, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents wean their kids off of the habit, as it can potentially push the permanent teeth forward.

What are foods that parents should limit very closely in order to protect teeth?

Parents should avoid feeding their kids sugary snacks and drinks whenever possible. Purchase sugar-free baby foods and juices for very young babies. Parents should limit older kids consumption of soda, sticky candies, and any foods with high levels of sugar. Starchy foods, like bread and chips, also have a tendency to get stuck between teeth, which can cause tooth decay if not cleaned properly.

 


Dr. Angela Bateson, DDS

 

1400 S. Main St., Findlay
419-425-0303 | www.batesondentistry.com