Key things you need to know about leading a healthy lifestyle are:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grain products
- Control portion sizes and never "supersize"
- Get active for at least 60 minutes, five times a week for ages 6-18
- Avoid tobacco and illegal drugs all together
This month-long national health observance reinforces the importance of oral health in children as well as helping parents with tips to keep their child’s smile on track!
New parents often ask, “When should my child first see a dentist?” It’s never too early to start focusing on your child’s oral health! The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents establish a dental home for their child by their first tooth or first birthday. During this time, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to ask questions and address any dental concerns at the primary visit and the dentist will gently swab the child’s mouth to check their gums and any erupted teeth. As the child starts teething, the dentist will be able to monitor their progress and implement preventative measures for any concerns with your baby’s teeth.
Baby teeth are so important because of their key role of saving space for a child’s permanent teeth. They stay in a child’s mouth for 8-10 years and also affect their speaking, chewing, and, of course, smiling. While daily brushing is an important part of a child’s oral hygiene routine, bacteria that causes tooth decay can still linger between teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. That’s why it’s so important to help your kids incorporate flossing in their daily routine. Early childhood tooth decay has become the most common chronic childhood disease, impacting more children than asthma. According to the ADA, more than 40% of children have tooth decay by the time they reach Kindergarten. Additionally, kids who suffer from poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. Be sure to schedule routine check-ups. If it's been more than six months since your child has seen a dentist, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.