Children's Dental Health Month
February is Give Kids a Smile Day
Cavity Prevention Tips From the American Dental
The American Dental Association
(ADA) advises parents to teach children the importance of oral hygiene
at an early age, so when they grow up they will continue good habits
that will contribute to their overall health. Oral hygiene, just like
diet and exercise, should be factored together when teaching children
how to keep themselves healthy.
The American Dental Association
offers these age-by-age tips:
Babies, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers
feeding, clean the baby's gums with a clean wet gauze pad or
start to appear, brush them with a child's size toothbrush and plain
water. Look for toothbrushes that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
They have been evaluated by the ADA for safety and effectiveness.
flossing when at least two teeth begin to touch. |
dental visits by the child's first birthday. Make visits regularly.
If you think your child has dental problems, take the child to the
dentist as soon as possible. |
teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride
toothpaste and make sure to floss daily. Look for toothpastes that
carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. They have been evaluated by the
ADA for safety and effectiveness. |
should be supervised while brushing to keep them from swallowing the
School-Age Children and Adolescents
are six or seven years old, continue to brush your children’s teeth
twice a day with a child’s size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of
fluoride toothpaste. Continue to assist with flossing as needed.
Look for dental products that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. They
have been evaluated by the ADA for safety and effectiveness.
|By age six
or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a
day but often require supervision until about age 10 or 11, to make
sure they are doing a thorough job. Since each child is different,
your dentist can help you determine whether your child is brushing
and flossing properly. |
dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can
be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay
often starts. |
Adolescents may need reminders about practicing good oral hygiene,
the importance of regular dental check ups and making nutritious
food and beverage choices. |
Please see for Dr Peterson's contribution to
Children's Dental Health
December 2005’s Reader’s Digest featured,
“The Checkup That Can Save Your Life,” which delves into the
relationship between oral and systemic health through case reports and
research results. The subhead, “The dentist may be the most
important doctor you see this year” ... And the article
concludes “ … as medical science reaffirms
that head and body are indeed connected, there’s more reason than ever
to brush twice a day, floss daily, and get dental checkups every six
months or see a dentist promptly if you have a problem.”
Potential of Certain Foods
High Potential for Decay
Hard and soft candy
Cake, cookies, pie
Moderate Potential For Decay
Sweetened, canned fruit
Low Potential for Decay
No Potential for Decay
Meat, fish, poultry
Ability to Stop Decay
Diet and Behavior Dilemma, Clinical
Preventive Dentistry Leadership Conference, Dr. Palmer. 2/04
Feb. 21, 2003 is Give Kids a Smile Day
Silent Epidemic: National Crisis of Access to Dental Care for Underserved
Kids A Smile is a nationwide campaign to improve access to dental care for
needy children. The
American Dental Association will help general dentist to sponsor voluntary
programs delivering free or discount oral health care to underserved
children on Feb. 21, 2003. Dentists
and their staffs will provide educational outreach, screenings, preventive
care and treatment to underserved children throughout our nation.
The ADA created Give Kids a Smile as an annual vehicle to focus
national attention on what the U.S. Surgeon General has called a “silent
epidemic” of oral disease affecting children from low-income families,
and to build support for public and private solutions that will help these
children get regular oral care.
Kids a Smile is nothing new—dentists routinely provide free and
discounted care to people who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
ADA states: “Although the 'Give Kids A Smile' project will help
thousands of children, the larger purpose will be to deliver the message
that we can't solve this problem alone and that for every child we care
for on that day, hundreds, even thousands more will continue suffering
until the nation gets serious about oral health…charity alone will never
fix the problem because charity is not a health care system.”
American Dental Association also states: “ What’s different about this
program is that in addition to helping a lot of kids, we’re trying to
effect real change in the state of oral health in America by calling
attention to the extent of untreated dental disease and the need to
improve access to dental care. Our
goal is prevention because the
real irony is that preventive programs could effectively eliminate dental
disease, and they do not cost a lot of money!
Dr. Peterson is a local dentist who is taking
on this challenge to improve the dental health care needs of our local
residents through community service.
He provides dental services for one of the largest nursing homes in
our area. He and his staff
members are providing toothbrushes, toothpaste, oral care tools and
educational materials to local schools, preschools and libraries. He will
be educating local third through fifth graders on ways to improve their
dental health. It is our hope that we will be able to offer oral hygiene
instruction, hygiene materials, and fluoride treatments to needy children
in our area. We hope to improve the oral health in our community, by
helping to create smiles that will last a lifetime.
As permanent teeth come in remember to have
dental sealants applied to protect teeth from
decay. A dental sealant is a clear material that is applied to the chewing
surfaces of the back teeth where decay most often occurs. The sealant acts
as a barrier, protecting teeth from bacteria and the acid that attacks
Preventive care such as
cleanings and fluoride treatment provide your child with
February is National Children's Dental Health Month.
Early dental care plays an important role in children's overall health.
The American Dental Association recommends that parents take action
early to insure the health of their children's teeth because attitudes
and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good
oral health throughout life.
Dental Visits- including a visit to the
dentist within six months of the eruption
of the first tooth, and no later than the child's
first birthday. Routine dental exams uncover problems that can
be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and
restorations may be small.
Benefits of Fluoride-it is one of
the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. Your
child can get fluoride protection through:
- drinking fluoridated water
- taking prescribed fluoride tablets or drops, only if you don't
live in a fluoridated community
- fluoride application in the dental office
- brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
- using a fluoride mouth rinse for children over age six.
tooth decay can destroy your child's teeth. To prevent your
child from getting baby bottle tooth decay:
- Begin clearing your baby's mouth during
the first few days after birth.
- Never allow your child to nurse or breast feed for prolonged
- Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
- Help your child develop good eating
habits early and choose sensible, nutritious snacks.
Sealants are used to protect the chewing
surfaces from tooth decay, the most widespread dental disease
- A sealant is a clear plastic material that is painlessly applied
to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay occurs most
- Sealants protect normal depressions and grooves in the teeth
called pits and fissures.
when permanent teeth are erupting can cause improper growth
of the mouth and tooth misalignment.
child involved in a recreational activity, such as soccer, hockey,
football, roller blading, riding a scooter and even bicycling should
wear a mouth protector. Ask your dentist about using a mouth
how to handle your child's dental
emergency can mean the difference between saving or losing a
Knocked-Out Tooth: If the tooth is
dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it or remove
any attached tissue fragments. Gently insert and hold the tooth in
its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of
cool water. Go to your dentist with the knocked-out tooth
immediately (within 30 minutes if possible). Consider using the
ADA-accepted tooth preservation kit to keep knocked out teeth.
Teeth Ache During Winter Walks?
Tooth sensitivity is a common
complaint which can get worse in the cold winter months. Breathing through
your mouth while you walk outdoors in chilly winter air can be a painful
The lips, cheek and tongue usually insulate the teeth from the
cold if your mouth is closed. However breathing abnormally cold air
through your nose disturbs the thermal balance in your mouth.
The mouth's immediate temperature changes can cause the
teeth to expand and contract. Over time, the teeth develop microscopic
cracks the allow cold and hot sensations to reach the nerve.
So in the winter months try breathing thought your nose and
Resource: Dental Notes December 2000
Day Survey Finds ``No Brush, No Kiss''
Women Say White Teeth Is The Key To Attraction
While candy and roses may be the way to a woman's heart this Valentine's
Day, men should know the key to a kissable smile is white,
healthy teeth. This hygiene-conscious opinion is particularly true among
women in the 25- to 34-year-old age group, with 88% of surveyed
respondents believing white teeth is the key to attraction.
With this in mind, giving Valentine's Day
partners a boost of confidence on that special day is even more crucial.
Those hit by Cupid's arrow can turn to the gentle Sonicare
toothbrush, which guarantees whiter, healthier teeth in just 28
Inspired by the sonic technology used in dental
offices, Sonicare is personally used by more U.S. dentists and
hygienists than any other power toothbrush brand.
In honor of Valentine's Day, Philips Oral
Healthcare, maker of Sonicare, and Roper ASW surveyed more than 500
women and 500 men across the country to find out what makes a kissable
-42% of women wish their significant
other had whiter teeth and/or healthier gums
-Surprisingly, 46% of women over 65
shared the same sentiment, implying that romance never dies
As for sharing a kiss before brushing in the morning:
-45% of women say "no toothbrush, no kiss"
-The "no brush, no kiss" trend is highest
among women in the 18- to 24-year-old category (55%); this opinion is
even more resounding with men in the same age bracket (18 to 24), who
second the notion 66% of the time, implying that women are more likely
to make an exception for a morning kiss.
Geographically, people in the West are more lenient about their
-Only 40% of people in the Western United States avoid
kissing their significant other before they brush
their teeth in the morning; while 48% in the Northeast avoid the
kiss before brushing
-Also, 77% of people in the Northeast say teeth
affect how attracted they are to a person; while only 69% of those in
the West share the same sentiment
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