Surprisingly, tooth decay is the number one chronic disease affecting children. In fact, it is five times more common than asthma. Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable.
Children should be seen by a dentist by the age of one. The dentist can provide a professional cleaning and an oral exam to look for both tooth decay and gum disease. A dentist will also advise you on other treatments including fluoride varnish and sealants, both of which have been proven to prevent cavities.
Brushing should begin when teeth erupt. After the age of two, children can begin using a fluoridated toothpaste which helps to prevent cavities. When the gaps between their baby teeth begin to close, flossing should take place. Flossing helps to remove the plaque and bacteria between teeth that brushing alone can miss.
A healthy smile is a happy smile.
Jessica Floyd, RN BSN,