In the United States, other than being a month of celebration of love, February is also a month to promote dental health in children. The American Dental Association’s (ADA) campaign aims to recognize and encourage the importance of good oral health at a young age.
In the spirit of dental health awareness among the children and youths, Specialist Dental Group would like to share with you some interesting facts on dental health pertaining to the younger generation.
Did You Know?
- It is never too early to bring your infant to see a dentist. Bring your infant to see a paedodontist by his/her first birthday
- By five years of age, up to 50% of the child population has experienced some form of dental decay. In Singapore, about 40% of children are affected by caries by the time they are six years old
- A devastating condition known as early childhood caries where there is extensive decay affecting most of the primary dentition is often a presenting feature and can lead to a loss of appetite and sleepless nights
Can They Be Prevented?
The problems discussed above can be prevented if parents/guardians/caregivers are aware about the issues early on. Ideally expectant mothers should be alerted to good oral hygiene practices during their prenatal checkup.
There are several steps that can be taken to prevent dental caries:
- Control dental plaque through regular and proper tooth brushing. It is recommended to brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day every day
- Have a diet that is low in sticky, starchy and sugary foods
- Regular visits to the dentist, at least twice yearly, ensures that any dental issues are detected early and addressed
- Motivation and encouragement from the parents to the child is essential if prevention of dental problems is to be successful
Parents need to understand that although children’s milk teeth will eventually fall out, it is important that young children do not develop tooth decay as the milk teeth are placeholders for permanent teeth.
Premature loss of milk teeth can have long-term implications, such as causing the nearby teeth to tip or shift into the space left unoccupied, and there may not be enough room for new tooth to erupt and grow properly.