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Next month marks the beginning of National Children’s Dental health Awareness, so I wanted to give you some oral health tips that you can use to help your children maintain a healthy mouth. I think it will be fitting given that the new year is still so fresh.

I stress the importance of children’s dental care to every parent that comes in my office. And yet, our country still has millions of children who are not getting the care they need. Starting your child off on the wrong foot in regards to dental care can have negative consequences that affect your child for their entire life.

Don’t let that happen! Today I have a few things you need to consider about your child’s oral health care and general dentistry.

1. What Happens to Their Baby Teeth Matters.

Some parents do not understand that your child needs to see a dentist early in their life. The American Dental Association and professionals at my practice recommend that parents bring their children to the dentist when the first tooth appears – or by the time the child is 2 years old. Infant and young children are just as susceptible to tooth decay, which can only be corrected by a dentist. Early tooth loss can mess up your child’s diet or create speech problems.

2. It’s About Tooth Development.

We don’t clean your child’s teeth; we look at how their permanent teeth are developing inside the mouth. If you’re not bringing your child to the dentist, we can’t fix alignment issues early in their lives. Some issues, if found early, can be corrected without large amounts of treatments. Catching alignment problems late in the game can mean expensive trips to the dentist or orthodontist down the road. We recommend that you take your child for an orthodontic consultation before the age of 7.

3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste and Fluoride Treatments.

Fluoride is one of dentist’s biggest tools because it fights off tooth decay and strengthens the enamel. But tooth decay continues to be the leading chronic disease in children. About 55 percent of children in kindergarten have already had cavities. Most public drinking water is fluoridated, but about 25 percent of the country does not have access to fluoridated water. Regardless if your child’s drinking water is fluoridated, we still recommend that you treat your children with fluoride varnish at the dentist. No tooth is the same, and the additional fluoride varnish helps prevent cavities in fissures and grooves in the teeth!

4. Floss Is Not Optional.

Like any great habit, it’s best to introduce your children to floss at an early age. That way it is part of their oral health routine, and they look at it no differently than brushing. Flossing prevents cavities and gum disease issues. Only about 60 percent of the tooth is above the surface, which means you can’t reach the other 40 percent without floss. Could you imagine cleaning only 60 percent of your house and deeming it clean? That’s not how it works. You want to clean everything, not just a majority of your stuff

5. Get Them Comfortable.

Bringing your child to the dentist early in their life makes them comfortable with the dentist. This seems like a small note, but it’s extremely important. About 20 percent of Americans have some level of dental fear. For me, I think the best way to avoid having dental anxiety is being introduced to the dentist’s early in your life.

To find incredible kids dentistry in Plano TX, call our office at 972-380-8105.