WHY DO KIDS NEED TO SEE THE DENTIST?
- 28% of children age 2-5 have Early Childhood Caries
(formerly known as "baby bottle tooth decay") which equates
to 4 million children nationwide
- Most common Chronic childhood disease
- Children with dental pain can become irritable, withdrawn
and unable to concentrate at school. This can lead to poor test
performance and missed days of school.
- Dental pain in children 5-17 yrs old results in 3.1 missed days
of school per 100 children
- Goal of dentistry is prevention
- Once the children were not in pain their test scores and
attendance both rose.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO TO HELP THEIR CHILD STAY
- Regular dental visits and establishing a dental home.
A brief definition of a dental home is an ongoing
relationship with a dentist inclusive of all aspects of oral
health and oral care.
- The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry), The ADA
(American Dental Association) and The AAP (American Academy
of Pediatrics) all recommend first visits no later than 1 yr of age to
establish a dental home.
- Frequency of visits depends on cavity risk. Children who are
higher cavity risk may need to be seen more frequently than every
6 months but every 6 months is the average.
Helping your child to make good food choices and packing a
Diets heavy in complex carbohydrates increase cavity risk
- Avoid frequents snacks of cookies, crackers or other
complex carb rich foods
- Snack on fresh fruit and veggies, cheese, or nuts.
Popcorn is a great snack also.
13% of children aged 2-10 had diets high in consumption
of carbonated soft drinks and these children have higher
number of cavities compared to children who do not drink
- Water and plain white milk are best drink options.
Juice is fine as a special treat but not something
children need every day and the sugar in juice is
sometimes as high as the amount in sodas.
- MDA had a program called "Sip All Day, Get Decay"
addressing sipping on soft drinks and how it increases
SPORTS AND TEETH
- 10-39% of all dental injuries are sports related and 50-90 % of
dental injuries are to the upper front teeth
- Highest risk age group is 7-11 yr olds
- Mouth guards are the best way to help prevent sports injuries and
custom made mouth guards made by a dentist are best.
in a lifetime to replace and a mouth guard is less than $50 in my
PREPARING A CHILD FOR A DENTAL VISIT
- Talk to your child about how going to the dentist is fun,
and that the dentist will count your teeth and make them sparkle.
- Try to remain positive even if you had a bad experience at a dentist
try not to talk about that with your child.
- Our office has a full "bag of tricks" to help make a dental visit easy
for a child but the best advice I can give a parent is never use going
to the dentist as a threat for bad behavior ie "if you don't behave
I am going to have the dentist do.....". This will make your child
scared to come to our office and we should be viewed as a place
for helping your child.
- In our office we encourage parents to be next to their child during
Dr. Suzanne K. Port DDS MS