Tuesday, February 16, 2016

And the survey says....

photo: YM
A recent survey of adults in the U.S. shows a knowledge gap when it comes to dental health. The survey, done for the Children’s Dental Health Project, asked 5 questions.
Among the findings, only 7% of adults correctly identified tooth decay as the most common chronic health condition affecting U.S. children and teens. Over 40% of adults felt they had little to no control over getting a cavity and only 18% stated that it was true that the bacteria that causes tooth decay can be transmitted from parents to their children.

While obesity and asthma are common childhood diseases tooth decay is more common, even though it is virtually completely preventable with regular oral hygiene and healthy diet. 

Additionally, 41% marked true that children’s teeth should be brushed starting at age 3 when in fact, baby teeth need to be cleaned from the time the first tooth emerges.
On a positive note, most of the adults surveyed recognized that the health of the mouth is important to the health of the rest of the body.

To view the survey visit the Children's Dental Health Project at: Survey reveals big gaps in the public's knowledge of dental health

Monday, February 1, 2016

National Children's Dental Health Month - Sweat the Small Stuff

Baby Teeth Are Important

Some people think that a cavity in a baby tooth is no big deal. Why even fill it? It's just going to fall out anyway. But baby teeth don't start to fall out until a child is six or seven years old. Some baby teeth remain in the mouth until a child reaches twelve to thirteen years old. Until that time those baby teeth perform all the same functions as the adult teeth and it is important that they are healthy and strong. Furthermore the baby teeth hold the space for the adult teeth coming in. Early loss of baby teeth can result in crowded or misaligned teeth.

By the time a child is six to eight months old the very first baby teeth have begun to erupt. It is very important to care for these teeth every day by wiping or brushing them after each meal. A tiny bit of toothpaste can even be used. The recommendation is for the first dental visit at one year of age, although many people wait much longer to take their child to a dentist. Unfortunately by that time, if the teeth have not been properly cared for, decay may be present. This is especially true if the child is given a bottle with milk, formula, breast milk or juice to sleep with at night. If a bottle is given other than with meals, it should have water in it only. It is not recommended to put a child to sleep at night with a bottle.

The problem with the bacteria that cause cavities is that after the initial cavity is formed, if the teeth continued to be neglected, the cavities will continue to spread. Just like with the adult teeth, this can result in serious pain and infection.

Children need their teeth to be healthy from the start so that their bodies can grow to be healthy and strong. When the baby teeth start coming in the child is beginning to eat solid foods and learning to speak. The period of time between the emergence of the first baby tooth until all the teeth are in at 3 years of age marks a period of incredible development. Likewise, the loss of the baby teeth and emergence of the first permanent teeth mark the beginning of another period of tremendous growth of the mind and body which takes the child all the way to adolescence.

February is designated as National Children's Dental Health Month to remind everyone that the smallest things, like baby teeth, matter a great deal to life long health.

Primary Teeth Chart; MouthHealthy.org

This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness or condition. If you need medical or dental care please see your doctor or dentist right away! You'll be happy you did.