Every February, the American Dental Association observes National Children's Dental Health Month. This year's emphasis is on drinking water. Children who swap out sugary drinks for water have decreased rates of cavities.
Our Sunnyvale dental office aims to support our patients and their families. One of the ways in which we do this is by focusing on patient education so that our patients understand the importance of oral health.
How else can we help prevent cavities and encourage strong oral hygiene habits in our children?
1. Incorporate fluoride in your child's homecare routine.
The water in most parts of Sunnyvale, including our zip code 94085, and the San Francisco Bay Area is fluoridated. This safe and low level of fluoridation helps to protect your child's teeth from bacteria that cause tooth decay. Studies have shown that fluoridated water prevents tooth decay by at least 25% in adults and children.
Most patients in our office receive the same fluoride vitamins in our office at their bi-annual check-ups and cleanings. As insurance companies are increasingly seeing the importance of fluoride to prevent tooth decay, many plans cover fluoride treatment for their patients.
2. Maintain regular dental visits.
As previously mentioned, preventative dental care helps you save money and time and helps you avoid dental pain. This also holds true for your child's teeth. By having your child's teeth professionally examined and cleaned in our Sunnyvale office, we are able to monitor your child's teeth and encourage good oral hygiene habits. Children who visit the dentist regularly are less anxious about their dental visits. Our team in Sunnyvale loves to work with children, and our pediatric dental patients love the special treat of being able to watch their favorite cartoons while having their teeth cleaned.
I recommend maintaining regular visits twice a year, in February and August. These are good times to make appointments because those months coincide with National Children's Dental Health Month and Back to School season in many Sunnyvale elementary and middle schools.
3. Have an orthodontist evaluate your child's dentition by 7 years old.
Many of our parents who bring their children into our office understandably have questions about their child's baby teeth, growing adult teeth, and spacing. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than 7 years old. Orthodontists work with general dentists to ensure a proper bite for patients, which can help minimize airway/breathing issues and correct spacing or crowding issues. Proper alignment of your child's teeth will make it easier for them to clean and take care of their teeth, thus helping to decrease the chances of cavities.
4. Encourage and maintain healthy oral hygiene habits.
Brushing and flossing regularly helps prevent plaque/tartar and decay. When our pediatric patients visit our Sunnyvale dental office, we spend time reviewing their brushing, flossing, and even eating habits with their parents. Our pediatric patients are given a toothbrushing chart (which is redeemable for prizes upon completion of the chart!) to help remind them to brush twice a day.
Consistent oral hygiene and dental habits will set our patients up for a lifetime of oral health. If you're looking to establish a dental home for your child and your family, contact our office today to schedule your appointment. We can't wait to meet you!