Young teeth need help staying healthy. Since tooth decay and cavities are common among the youngest members of the general population, it is up to parents and dental professionals to ensure that these primary pearly whites stay in optimal condition in preparation for adult teeth one day. Since January 31 is “Give Kids a Smile” Day, your children’s dentist in Farmington is happy to acknowledge and celebrate this day by encouraging little ones to start forming oral health habits early.
What is Give Kids a Smile Day?
Give Kids a Smile Day is recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) as a grassroots effort designed to raise awareness about the importance of establishing and committing to good oral hygiene habits among young children. The first event was held in 2002 and saw an estimated 400 children receiving free dental care.
In 2003, Give Kids a Smile developed into a nationwide program that works closely with the ADA and other large companies to provide underserved children with access to the oral health care program. By providing events each year, all year round, dentists across the country and volunteers offer their time to provide free oral health education, screenings, and valuable treatment to children in underserved communities.
Why Is It Important to Start Oral Health Habits Early?
We all know baby teeth eventually fall out but before they do, it is imperative that these teeth remain healthy. Why? The reason is that if primary teeth are decayed or underdeveloped, it can negatively impact how a child’s adult teeth will erupt and in what condition. Since children have minimal dexterity to reach certain areas of their smile, molars are often the most common places for decay to start.
In order to prevent this from happening, your family dentist in Farmington can provide beneficial tips and techniques to help your child maintain good oral health at home as well as offer valuable treatments in-office to protect against decay and strengthen tooth enamel.
The first step is to make sure that your child’s initial dental appointment is scheduled by the time they turn a year old. This visit will not only give the dentist a chance to review the growth and development of any teeth that have already erupted but also help your child to feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office. Over the years, as your child grows older, cleanings and more in-depth checkups will occur as well as the placement of dental sealants and fluoride treatment with your okay.
A few useful tips for good oral health include:
- Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes
- Flossing at least once a day
- Rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash
You’ll need to make sure you are adhering to these tips while your child is young and observing their morning and nighttime routines as they get older.
By taking these initial steps when your child is young, you will be setting them up for a lifetime of good oral health, and your child’s dentist will be able to properly monitor the growth and development of their teeth as they transition from childhood into adulthood.
About the Author
Dr. James Cole graduated from Texas A&M University after receiving his bachelor’s degree in biology. He then went on to study at Baylor College of Dentistry, achieving his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. After spending four years as an officer in the Indian Health Service, he was appointed to the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care for three years and as a trustee to the New Mexico Dental Association. Dr. Cole has been in private practice since 1994 and is pleased to serve the residents of Farmington and its surrounding communities. From children to the elderly, he is passionate about providing top-notch dental care to those in need. Contact us at (505) 327-0441 to find out how we can help.