February is Children’s Dental Health Month and at the Fort Irwin Pediatric Dental Clinic we love to see kids smile!
Here are some tips to help keep those smiles sparkling.
Brush: Brushing twice daily with toothpaste that contains fluoride is an important part of your child’s routine. Fluoridated toothpaste may be used as early as the first tooth erupts, as long as you’re only using a small amount (about the size of a grain of rice). While many children want to independently brush their teeth, it’s important that an adult help them brush until they are about 8 years old, this will ensure that no area is missed.
Floss: Do I need to floss my child’s teeth? Look in your child’s mouth, if their teeth are touching (there are no spaces between them), then they should be flossed. In some children, only the back teeth are touching while in others all the teeth are touching.
Healthy Diet: A healthy diet is just as important as brushing and flossing. Consuming beverages that contain sugar (juice, flavored milk, Kool-aid, sodas) puts your child at a significantly higher risk of tooth decay. We recommend that your child consume only four to six ounces of a sugar-containing beverage per day and drink water and plain white milk at all other times. It’s also important to avoid snacks that are sticky (fruit snacks, raisins), because their sticky nature makes them more likely to adhere to the teeth and cause a cavity.
Aren’t they Baby Teeth? Baby teeth are important space holders for the adult teeth that are still developing in your child’s jaw. Many of the baby teeth will be with your child until they are 11-12 years old.
Dental Check-Ups: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental check-up six months after the eruption of the first tooth or at age 1, whatever occurs first. At their dental visit, your child will have teeth professionally cleaned, get a fluoride treatment, and the dentist will check to ensure that the teeth are healthy and developing properly. The dentist will let you know how often he/she wants to see your child.
If you’re in need of a dentist for your children (8 years and younger) and live on post, then Dental Clinic 1 is available to take care of their dental needs. Call 380-3284 to schedule an appointment.
The Fort Irwin Pediatric Dental team will be visiting the following schools to promote dental health and complete dental screenings (contact your child’s school for more details):
Lewis Elementary School: Feb. 10 and 11
Colin Powell Preschool: Feb. 18
Tiefort View Intermediate School: Feb. 19
Homeschool students: 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 26 at the post library, building 331, on 2nd Street