What would you guess is the most common chronic childhood disease?
The answer is dental caries, better known as tooth decay. It is five times as common as asthma and seven times as common as hay fever.
But the bad news is that, according to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), dental caries is still the most common chronic disease among children between 6 and 11 and adolescents between 12 and 19. The good news is that dental caries is highly preventable.
Take Control of Your Child’s Oral Health
Stay a step ahead of dental caries by bringing your child for early dental visits when their first baby tooth erupts but no later than age one. These positive visits are meant to get you and your child accustomed to the environment of a dentist’s office.
From then on, you should help them develop the following habits:
- Schedule dental appointments for your child at six-month intervals.
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste following your dentist’s recommendations.
- Clean between your child’s teeth with floss daily until they gain the skill to do it themselves.
- Limit snacking and ensure your child eats nutritious and balanced meals.
- Check with your dentist about the need for fluoride applications for your child.
Studies show that fluoridation can reduce decay by 18 to 40 percent, and since fluoride has been added to public water supplies, the rate of caries has declined considerably. But dentists need to continue to provide patient education so parents understand that oral health care must be a priority for their children.
Call our Orlando Office for Your Child’s Appointment
At Alafaya Dentistry, we love treating children of all ages and ensuring that they develop healthy, positive attitudes about oral health care. Dr. Gary Michaelson will explain the importance of good oral hygiene and a healthy diet and provide you with the tools you need to keep your child’s mouth healthy and problem free. Give our practice a call today.