Love Your Smile

Why Instilling Good Dental Care in Children Early is Crucial

February marks National Children’s Dental Health Month, which advocates for good oral hygiene habits to establish a foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Dental health in children is about more than aesthetics; it is crucial for their overall well-being. Mary Rostami, a dentist at Basking Ridge Dental Group, says that there are essential reasons why children’s dental health deserves special attention. “Parents might think that baby teeth are not as important and they might not need to brush or floss as much, but they can still get infections,” she says. “Your kids could have pain. If you don’t take care of it, they get a cavity. It’s very important that you take care of children’s teeth from the minute they erupt.”

Prevention of dental issues includes teaching children good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, which can prevent common dental problems like cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. These issues can cause pain, discomfort and lead to more serious health problems if left unaddressed. The dentists advise that brushing should be done at morning and night, and if possible at lunchtime, especially if children consume a lot of sugar—and this month, Valentine's treats.

Research shows a strong connection between oral health and overall health. Poor dental hygiene has been linked to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and respiratory infections. “I tell parents ‘Don’t give them anything with sugar, milk or juice before they go to bed, because they cause problems,’” Rostami says. 

Azita Emami, another dentist in the group, advises that parents start bringing kids to the dentist as early as age two. “For a first visit, I examine their teeth and do some cleaning, but if the child is scared I never push them,” she says. “I don’t want them to have a bad experience with the visit. I only go as far as they let us. If they start getting scared, then we stop and give them some toothbrushes to encourage them. We then ask the mom or dad to bring them back in a few months, because for kids even a few months makes a big difference.”

Basking Ridge Dental Group Approved Hygiene Tips for Parents 

●      Start Early: Begin oral care as soon as the first tooth pops up. Use a soft, age-appropriate toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. 

●      Supervise Brushing: Children may not have the ability to brush effectively on their own until around age 7. Until then, parents should supervise and assist with brushing. 

●      Promote a Balanced Diet: Encourage a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Limit sugary snacks and beverages before bed. 

●      Schedule Regular Dental Visits: Schedule regular check-ups with a pediatric dentist. Early detection of issues can prevent more significant problems. 

●      Lead by Example: Children often learn by watching adults. Show them your commitment to good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing together. 

National Children’s Dental Health Month is a reminder that oral health is an integral part of a child’s overall health and well-being. Dentists at Basking Ridge Dental Group say by promoting good dental hygiene habits from a young age, you can ensure that your children grow up with healthy smiles.

Learn more about dental health care at BaskingRidgeDental.com.

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It’s very important that you take care of children’s teeth from the minute they erupt.

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