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National Children’s Dental Health Month: A Quick Guide to Family Dentistry 

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National Children’s Dental Health Month: A Quick Guide to Family Dentistry 

national-childrens-dental-health-month-a-quick-guide-to-family-dentistry

The American Dental Association has set February to be National Children’s Dental Health month. The purpose of this month is to teach caregivers how to best support the health of their child’s smile. One of the most important aspects of children’s dental health is taking them to a skilled and knowledgeable family dentist. At Mountain Aire Dentistry, we’re here for your family no matter the ages. 

Children’s Dental Health Month 

This month-long awareness month is set by the American Dental Association. It is intended to help reiterate the importance of children maintaining good oral health. Additionally, it aims to give parents and caregivers a reminder on how to keep their children’s smiles healthy. 

The Facts about Your Child’s Smile

If you are a parent or caregiver for a child, it’s best to start caring for their smiles by learning what to expect. When you are informed from the beginning, it can help ensure that your child has healthy teeth and gums from the get-go. From the time they get their first tooth, to braces, to adulthood, Mountain Aire Dentistry is here for your family. 

Baby Teeth

Your child’s dental health begins at birth. When they are a few months old, you will begin to notice primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, begin to erupt in the mouth. Typically, a child will have all of their primary teeth in by the time they turn three years old. The primary teeth, as explained by Behind the Smile, are important because they set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. The primary teeth:

  • Prepare your child for a great smile by holding the right amount of space in the mouth until the permanent teeth erupt. 
  • Make eating and chewing easier, which ensures that children can eat nourishing food and maintain a healthy weight range that keeps their other developmental milestones on track.
  • Reinforce correct speech production and development because the primary teeth help correct syllable pronunciation and keep the tongue in place during speech. 

Healthy primary teeth help make sure your child has an easy and healthy transition to their permanent teeth. Even though they lose the primary teeth, it is still important to keep them healthy because they are the first steps at making sure their future smile lines up as it should. It is important to note that each child is different and develops at a different pace, so taking your child to see the dentist from an early age is a good step to make sure they are developing properly. 

Children and the Dentist 

A good rule of thumb is that your child visits the dentist by the time they turn one year old, or when their first tooth comes in, whichever happens first. While the first dental visit is often a quick appointment, it gets your child introduced to the dentist at an early age which can help prevent dental anxiety and fear as they grow older. During this first exam, the dentist will check your child’s current existing teeth and look for potential issues with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. Typically, the first appointment involves talking with your dentist about:

  • Good oral hygiene practices for your child’s teeth and gums and cavity prevention
  • Fluoride needs 
  • Oral habits like thumb sucking 
  • Developmental milestones
  • Proper nutrition
  • A schedule of dental checkups to monitor the development of teeth 

Dental Care in Children 

You should begin taking care of your child’s mouth before they have any teeth. To do this, gently cleanse the gums with a soft washcloth. Once their teeth begin to come in, you can begin to use a toothbrush and toothpaste. The toothbrush should be age appropriate, and the amount of toothpaste small, like a grain of rice.

As a parent and caregiver, you should brush your child’s teeth for them until they are old enough to begin learning and practicing themselves. After this point, you should help your child brush their teeth until they are old enough to do it properly. Supervising this each day will help make sure your child is cleaning all areas of their mouth, not just the teeth you can see. 

As we briefly mentioned above, another main component in having your child maintain a healthy smile is by visiting the dentist on a regular schedule. For healthy patients, this is usually once every six months. However, this timeline might be adjusted depending on what the dentist recommends for your child’s specific situation. 

Make an Appointment with Mountain Aire Dentistry 

If you have a child, schedule their appointment with Dr. Robert Berry and Mountain Aire Dentistry today for National Children’s Dental Health Month. Call us now at (303)-731-7755.