Now that it’s summer, your kids are no doubt excited to be able to get away from the daily pressures of attending classes and doing homework. However, there are some responsibilities that nobody can take a vacation from, and as a parent that includes making sure your child’s teeth and gums are well-cared for. If your children haven’t had either of their two dentist appointments for the year, they could be at a higher risk for issues such as tooth decay. Learn more about why the dentist and a good oral hygiene routine need to be part of your summer plans.
Why is Oral Health So Important for Kids?
In the United States, cavities are one of the most common childhood diseases. According to the CDC, roughly a fifth of U.S. children ages 5 to 11 have at least one decayed tooth that has gone untreated. If a cavity is left unchecked, your child will experience a great amount of pain and discomfort, and they may eventually require expensive and complicated treatment; they may also start to associate the dentist with pain, which can lead to anxieties later in life.
You may not think cavities in baby teeth are a problem since they’ll fall out anyway. However, infections in these temporary teeth can make adult teeth more susceptible to decay; also, if a baby tooth comes out too early, its replacement may not come in correctly.
Why are Summer Dental Appointments Essential?
Tooth decay can be hard to identify in its earliest stages; that’s why visiting your children’s dentist twice a year is so important. They can thoroughly clean the mouth of plaque and can recognize and treat potential health problems in their early, more manageable stages.
If school and extracurricular activities are making it difficult to schedule an appointment during the school year, summer can be the perfect opportunity. Not only will it be easier to find the time, but your child is more likely to be generally relaxed, which can make for an overall more positive visit.
How Can I Teach My Children Good Oral Health Habits?
Of course, seeing the dentist is only part of good oral hygiene; you also have to make sure your kids are learning the right behaviors. Here are some things you can do:
- Let your kids pick a toothbrush and see if you can find a toothpaste with a flavor they like to help them get excited about brushing.
- Make sure they’re brushing regularly; make brushing part of the tasks they need to complete before going outside or playing games.
- Don’t let them indulge in too much candy and soda.
By making sure good habits are internalized early on, it’s more likely they’ll continue into adulthood. Make sure healthy teeth are a highlight of your child’s summer!
About the Author
At Mor Smiles, Drs. Sean Moriarty, Michael H. Cohen and David Azizyan bring healthy smiles to the Lancaster County community. In addition to regular checkups and cleanings, they offer dental sealants for children who may have trouble brushing their back teeth. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (717) 553-1793.