Metro Detroit Mommy Sponsored Guest Blogger: Dr. Megan Stowers - Cabot and Stowers Pediatric Dentistry
Dental Health and habits are important to start at a very young age. We want to do what is best for our kids by having them brush their teeth every day and visit the dentist regularly. But oral health isn't is as easy as it may seem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have had cavities in their baby teeth. And 21% of children ages 6 to 11 have had them in their permanent teeth.
Here are 7 mistakes parents are making when it comes to their children's oral health....
1. Letting kids brush alone
Most children don't have the dexterity to brush effectively until they are 8 years old. Parents need to supervise brushing and perform the brushing nightly at the very least.
2. Putting a baby to bed with a bottle
The bottle at bedtime or a sippy cup of milk/juice all day long keeps the sugar levels in the mouth elevated all the time... and the cavity breakdown of teeth begins and progresses. If a baby wakes up at night for a bottle or to nurse, wipe out the baby's mouth with a soft cloth or brush teeth if present following consumption.
3. Making the first dentist appointment too late
1st trip to the dentist when the 1st tooth erupts and no later than the 1st birthday is the recommendation. We believe in "starting early", our office early childhood visits allows us to educate and discuss prevention. As it is not uncommon to see children 2 or 3 years old who require general anesthesia to treat cavities and infection.
4. Offering "healthy food"
Bananas, raisins, dried fruit, and fruit snacks seem healthy but these sticky foods have concentrated sugars that sit in the grooves of teeth and create cavities.
5. Thinking cavities are no big deal
Cavities at an early age, especially if not treated, can lead to problems with speech, poor sleep, infections, pain/discomfort, and low self esteem. Cavities in baby teeth need to be treated, they are important in maintaining space for the adult teeth.
6. Not using Fluoride
Fluoride toothpaste should be used, proper amount is key. Under 2 years of age apply a smear layer over the bristles of the toothbrush, above the age of 2 apply a pea size amount. Although fluoride is controversial, experts agree that the research is clear; it's one of the BEST ways to prevent cavities.
7. Loading up on sports drinks
A common cause of tooth decay in older kids is sipping on sports drinks throughout the day, throughout the game, and at home. Even though sugar free sports drinks are available, it is the acidity in the sports drinks that is causing the breakdown of teeth. Water is the best, both on and off the field.
Use these 7 points as a learning tool aimed at achieving a lifetime of dental health for your child.
At Cabot and Stowers Pediatric Dentistry our doctors and staff are dedicated to providing the highest quality and most compassionate dental care to our patients from infancy through young adulthood, including those with special health care needs in a fun environment.
Dr. Megan Stowers was awarded her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. She earned her Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry from The University of Michigan and is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Megan is currently on staff at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in the department of surgery. She is always eager to meet new smiling faces in the practice.