(Jan. 29, 2018) – Nearly 20 percent of children aged 5-11 have at least one cavity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is cavities are preventable and Great Expressions Dental Centers is commemorating Children’s Dental Health Month (February) by sharing dental care life hacks for parents to keep cavities at bay.
“We continually see young patients that suffer from tooth decay and cavities due to lack of proper dental hygiene,” said Dr. Robert Brody, Chief Clinical Officer at Great Expressions Dental Centers. “Many parents don’t recognize the negative effects of unhealthy baby teeth because they know they will be replaced with adult teeth. It’s critical we care for children’s teeth at early stages, as baby teeth serve a number of critical functions, including speech development.”
Following are three life hacks every parent should follow to prevent dental cavities in children:
- Keep gums clean beginning with newborns. Your child may not even have teeth yet, but it’s critical to keep gums healthy for proper development of teeth. Wipe the gums with a clean baby washcloth and gently brush with a soft baby toothbrush once you see the first tooth. For older children, use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush teeth.
- Bottle-less bedtime. Giving your child a bottle at bedtime is a common mistake that not only overloads your child’s teeth with sugar, it also increases their chances of choking. Instead, provide your child with a bottle prior to putting them to sleep and wipe their teeth with a soft baby toothbrush before their head hits the pillow. For older children, make sure they avoid sugary drinks like soda or juice packs right before bedtime.
- Prevent fear of the dentist. It’s recommended that children visit the dentist twice a year to keep teeth as healthy as possible. Because many children fear the dentist, it’s important for parents to make the process as stress-free as possible. We recommend using music, bringing a favorite stuffed animal, and educating children on dental visits with a kid-friendly book prior to the visit. Doing this from an early age will minimize, if not eliminate stress, ultimately improving trips to the dentist for the remainder of their lives.
In addition to these tips, to celebrate the commitment to dental hygiene, GEDC has launched the “No Cavity Club.” For each cavity-free visit at a participating GEDC office throughout the month of February, pediatric patients will be entered to win a variety of prizes, including a bike, movie bundle, electronic toothbrush and more. To schedule an appointment, call 888-764-5380 or visit www.greatexpressions.com.
About Great Expressions Dental Centers
For nearly 40 years, Great Expressions Dental Centers has been a leader in preventative dental care, orthodontics and specialty care with offices in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. Great Expressions is consistently recognized for contributions to improving oral health through quality and safety initiatives, affordable dental care services, patient convenience, research and more. Great Expressions Dental Centers branded practices are independently-owned and operated in specific states by licensed dentists and their professional entities who employ the licensed professionals providing dental treatment and services. ADG, LLC provides administrative and business support services and licenses the Great Expressions Dental Centers brand name to independently-owned and operated dental practices. ADG does not own or operate dental practices, or employ the licensed professionals providing dental treatment and services. For more information, please visit www.greatexpressions.com.
Amanda Niswonger, on behalf of Great Expressions Dental Centers
Lambert, Edwards & Associates