Written by Dentistry Today Thursday, 07 February 2013 11:06
"Parents can help children prevent oral diseases by establishing a dental hygiene routine at an early age, which is essential to maintaining good oral health throughout life," said CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS, a pediatric dentist. "Brushing for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing every day, and seeing a dentist for regular checkups will help keep teeth and gums healthy."
Tooth decay is the number one chronic health problem among children — affecting approximately 28 percent of U.S. children 2 to 5 years old and 58 percent of U.S. children 12 to 15 years old, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To help keep children's oral health intact, CDA offers parents the following tips: because cavity-causing bacteria are passed through the transfer of saliva, provide each family member with his or her own toothbrush, spoon, fork or cup; wipe infants' gums twice a day with a washcloth; clean pacifiers and bottles with soap and water, not spit; put only water in a baby's bottle at bed time; and help children brush and floss until they have mastered the skill – usually around age 7.
"It is important for parents to understand the significance of good oral health to a child's well-being," said Robinson. "Children need their teeth to eat properly, talk, smile and feel good about themselves." Bacteria feed on what you eat and drink, so to help prevent tooth decay, CDA also suggests avoiding sugary food and drinks, limiting between-meal snacks and drinking plenty of water, especially after meals. For more information, visit www.cda.org.
About the California Dental Association
The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA is committed to the success of our members in service to their patients and the public. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA's membership consists of more than 25,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit www.cda.org.