February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Families that encourage good oral health inspire children to pick up lifetime healthy habits.
Smiling confidently positively influences school, home, and relationships with friends and family. Smile Doctors’ Rising Star program provides children 5-10 years old complimentary, high-quality early care that prepares them to reach their full smile potential.
Why is children’s dental health important?
Dental cavities are the most common chronic disease of childhood. 1 in 5 children aged 5-11 years have at least one untreated cavity. Children with poor oral health are more likely to miss school and receive lower grades.
Good dental health not only reduces the chances of cavities, pain, and infections. Oral health is linked to overall mental and physical health.
How can I support my child in developing good oral health?
Here are some ways to promote good oral health with your child.
- Lead by example by prioritizing your oral health.
- Take your child to see a dentist within their first year or within 6 months of their first tooth.
- Children should brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Encourage your children to drink tap water that contains fluoride.
- Take your child to visit their dentist every 6 months. At their dentist appointment, ask your child’s dentist to apply sealants if needed to reduce the risk of cavities.
Why should my child see both a dentist and an orthodontist?
Dentists focus on health conditions of your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth and provide care by promoting good overall oral health, filling cavities, extracting teeth, cleaning teeth, and more.
Orthodontists are specialists in facial development and the bite. They diagnose misaligned teeth and jaws, create custom treatment plans, and install orthodontic devices. A proper bite and straight teeth are important for oral health. Poorly aligned teeth can make it difficult to speak, bite, and chew and create spaces for bacteria to develop that may lead to cavities.
General dentists and orthodontists focus on various aspects of dental health. Both types of doctors are important to your overall oral health.
Visit an orthodontist by age 7.
You do not need to wait for a dentist referral for your child to see an AAO certified orthodontist. Your child should see an orthodontist by age 7.
The goal of early treatment is to intercept the developing challenge, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth. Some orthodontic issues may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early.
Early orthodontic care may even help avoid costly treatments. Early treatment may reduce the need for extractions or impacted teeth later.
Our Rising Star program helps kids 5-10 years old reach their full smile potential with complimentary, high-quality care. Our award-winning local orthodontists monitor and guide patients’ development, all in a fun, friendly environment.