Health & Safety

February 22, 2013

Celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month

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NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Many parents don’t realize the importance of baby teeth and think it’s probably OK if the teeth get a cavity or two because they’ll just end up falling out.

Not so!

Most people don’t think of cavities for what they really are — a visible sign of an infection. This bacterial infection can be transmitted to other siblings or family members. Cavities also can lead to early loss of baby teeth which can then lead to crowded or crooked adult teeth. Cavities can even lead to abscesses and infection of the developing adult teeth.

Here are some tips for your child’s healthy smile:

  • Talk to your child about dental health, and why it is important to keep their teeth clean.
  • Help your child brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day with just a small amount of a fluoride containing toothpaste or no toothpaste at all. Remember, it’s the brush removing the plaque that’s key.
  • Make brushing a part of the bedtime routine, and make it fun. Brush your teeth as a family, play a song or be creative. Let your child brush first; then a parent can do a “mommy/daddy check” where you pretend like you’re looking with the brush to see if he or she cleaned his or her teeth but you’re really brushing them for a second time.
  • Help your child learn to floss between teeth daily. The various floss holders/sticks for children work well.
  • Avoid tooth decay by making healthy food choices. Avoid sugary and starchy snacks and always drink a lot of water. Never put your child to bed with anything to drink but water; even “all-natural” juice is laden with sugar.
  • Visit a dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Even if you don’t suspect dental problems, a visit to the dentist helps them become familiar with the dentist at a young age.
  • Have sealants placed on permanent teeth for added protection from tooth decay.
  • Consider wearing a mouth guard for sports, skateboarding, and other contact activities.

These are just a few tips to help your child have and keep a healthy smile. For more information, call the dental clinic at 653-2600.




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