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Keeping Our Kids Healthy

Answering parents’ most common questions about dental and vision care

DENTAL

Oral health is super important to the overall health of the body, as we get older it has been shown to be connected to cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. So, from a young age, it’s our job at Pediatric Dental Group to teach parents about oral hygiene so that they can develop good habits that prevent cavities and other oral diseases.  We recommend that kids begin their first appointments when their first teeth come in. Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases among children, yet it is preventable with good oral care.

Why do baby teeth matter if they’re just going to fall out later?

Decay and bacteria can spread from baby teeth to the adult teeth that are developing below the gumline, causing lifelong damage and tooth pain.

What are some basic habits that I can teach my child for good oral care?

  • Follow the 2 X 2 rule: Brush for two minutes, twice a day and visit your dentist for a cleaning and checkup twice a year.
  • Floss early, floss often: Once a child’s teeth start to fit closely together, it’s time to teach them the habit of daily flossing. You’ll have to take the lead at first, then they’ll get the hang of it by the time they reach 8 or 10 years old.
  • Tap is terrific: Water is the way to go! Encourage your kids to drink water when they’re thirsty instead of juice or soft drinks.  Water washes away decay-causing bacteria, plus most U.S. tap water is enhanced with fluoride which helps build strong tooth enamel.

Are there preventative treatments available for kids?

Yes! One of the best ways to prevent cavities is by applying dental sealants. They lock out decay and provide a layer of super-protection for the deep grooves on a child’s 6 and 12 year molars. Sealants protect the enamel from plaque and acid and can last up to 10 years. The process is simple and can be done at your dental office.

VISION

Did you know that 85% of learning is visual? That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your child doesn’t have vision problems. Children with undiagnosed vision problems are three times more likely to fail a grade and children often don’t realize that they aren’t seeing clearly and are labeled with behavior or learning problems when all they need is a proper pair of glasses. The best way to ensure that your child is seeing properly is to have a full eye exam every year.

My child had a vision screening at school, isn’t that enough?

While school screenings are great at diagnosing issues with near sight and far sight, a basic screening can still miss overall health concerns in the eye.  A study from the American Optometric Association finds that basic screenings can miss up to 75% of the vision problems that children are having. 

My child spends a lot of time on screens and now that has extended to digital learning. Is there anything I can do to prevent problems?

Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look up from the screen and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give eyes a chance to rest. Holding devices an arm’s length away is also a good practice.

What are some signs I should look for that could indicate my child needs glasses?

There are several things parents can watch for. Frequent headaches, rubbing their eyes or squinting and holding screens or books close to their face can indicate a problem. Also, clumsiness or frequently bumping into furniture can be a sign of vision problems.

This article was provided by Pediatric Dental Group and Adventure Vision. Pediatric Dental Group has two locations in Tulsa - 7715 E. 91st Street and 602 S. Utica Avenue. Adventure Vision is located at 602 S. Utica Avenue. Call 918-771-6840 to make an appointment for your child today. 

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