February is Children's Dental Health Month

Friday, February 15th, 2013, 6:06 pm

Each February is designated as Children’s Dental Health Month and the American Dental Association and other groups work to spread the word about the importance of good oral health for children.Toccoa general dentist Wilbanks Smile Center offers tips for National Children's Dental Health Month.

Do you know what the most commonly occurring disease that afflicts children in America? The answer surprises most people – dental caries (tooth decay). Tooth decay is caused by a complex chain of events involving oral bacteria and sugars from food. Children are not born with the bacteria that cause tooth decay, they actually “catch” these bacteria, usually from their parents at an early age. While there isn’t much we can do about avoiding these oral bacteria completely, we can protect our children from the damage they cause.

Many people believe that because young children “only” have baby teeth they really don’t need to see a dentist. These first teeth are much more susceptible to tooth decay than adult teeth making brushing and flossing even more important. Regular dentist visits and good home care can protect your child from dental decay and the pain that comes from a badly decayed tooth. The health of our patients is very important to us – Wilbanks Smile Center is a mercury free office and mercury based amalgam fillings will not be used to fill cavities – tooth colored fillings are used.

Children should have their first dental visit around their 1st birthday – I know this seems early but once teeth begin erupting we can look for signs that the child may be prone to tooth decay. We can also offer parents tips on keeping those new teeth healthy. For instance, never put baby to bed with a bottle and always clean the teeth after feedings. Simply wiping the teeth with a soft, damp cloth works for babies and then you can graduate to a special baby toothbrush.

As your child gets older avoid sippy cups filled with juice – unless at mealtimes. Many children are given unrestricted access to juice cups all day long which leads to tooth decay and weight gain. Limiting the sugary juices is good for your child’s health. Offer water if your child is thirsty.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to helping your entire family maintain healthy, beautiful smiles!

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