Monday, March 12, 2012

Oral Health

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 28% of preschoolers (ages 2 to 5) today have cavities. Overall, 43% of children under 12 years of age have cavities. Dentist are seeing more preschoolers needing crowns, root canals, having abscesses and experiencing severe pain if a cavity exposes a nerve. Here are some ways you can help your child’s oral health:

• Have your child drink fluoridated tap water rather than bottled water.

• Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar in both eats away the enamel of the teeth.

• Replace sugary snacks with natural foods such as apple slices.

• Only a small portion of juice should be given daily.

• All soda should be avoided. 
Sometimes it is tempting not to treat baby teeth because they are just going to fall out anyway.  BUT baby teeth are there for a reason….they help a child learn to talk, chew and because their mouths are still small, the teeth are holding space for when adult teeth come in. While a child’s front teeth generally come out around age 6, their back baby teeth are generally not replaced under they are pubescent.

Some parents give up trying to brush their toddler’s teeth because their child cries or fusses. You’re just trying to get them down for the night and it’s easy to just give up rather than have one more challenge to deal with for the day. But in the long run, good habits will be formed and it will give your help your child on the road to having teeth that last their entire lifetime.

Cavities leave the mouth open for infection to enter the body. And though a child’s front teeth will start falling out around age 6, their back teeth will not be replaced until they are pubescent. Caring for baby teeth as soon as they come in will have a long term impact for your child. Early tooth loss will cause adult teeth to be misaligned since there is space for the teeth to move. Speech patterns can also be affected due to improper jaw formation.

It is advisable that as soon as your baby’s teeth start coming in to have either your dentist or pediatrician apply dental fluoride varnish on their teeth to help prevent cavities. PHA offers fluoride varnish for children 9 months to 3 years of age. Infants and toddlers should have it applied three times a year as new teeth come in. Most dental insurance does not cover the varnish but is relatively inexpensive.


Anonymous said...

Does PHA offer the flouride varnish? If so, how much is each treatment?

Anonymous said...

On childrens molars, if they get a filling do you recommend white or silver fillings?

Pediatric Health Associates said...

re: Does PHA offer flouride varnish?PHA does offer fluoride varnish. Please contact the office regarding cost.

Re: Does PHA recommend white or silver fillings?
Either is fine but we recommend that you discuss your concerns with your dentist.

John Moran said...

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