Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guidebook to the raising of children? Some sort of failsafe parenting manual you could pore over to find the answers to all your most vital parenting questions? Unfortunately, there isn’t. But here at Levesque Dentistry, we do have a guidebook to help parents navigate one often-confusing aspect of parenting: children’s oral health.
Many parents are surprised to discover that while brushing, flossing and other oral care habits have become second nature to them as adults, they have little idea – often no idea at all – about how to establish those same behaviors in their children, or even what steps they should be talking as parents when it comes to caring for their young child’s teeth and gums.
As a result, most cavities tend to occur in children, and when they’re not taught good oral care routines to correct those cavity-causing habits, they go on to develop much more decay and other problems like gum disease later in life.
Even more alarming, medical studies have shown that the same bacteria involved in the development of cavities and gum disease can actually be linked to bacterial triggers in certain types of heart disease and may be implicated in other diseases as well.
Suddenly, making sure you help your child develop good oral care habits isn’t just an investment in a healthy smile and great teeth and gums – it’s also an investment in protecting his or her overall health, as well.
Of course, many of us as children may remember visits to the dentist with some degree of dread or anxiety.
But when you start your child on the path toward a lifetime of good oral care habits, and you start them on that path really early, those anxieties give way to – well, not exactly joyful anticipation, but certainly an understanding that going to the dentist regularly and caring for their teeth and gums is just part of the normal pattern of everyday life. And that can be a huge stress-reliever for both you and your child.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends your child see the dentist before the child by their first birthday. This helps both to get the parent and the child get used to the routine and for the dentist to be able to identify potential problems in the child’s newly developing teeth.
Caring for your child’s teeth doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore that you and your child dread; it can be a bonding and teaching moment that helps you feel confident you’re doing all you can to help your child be healthier, not just now, but for his or her entire lifetime.
We are here to help parents just like you understand the basic oral care needs and habits that can help all kids, from infancy (yes, infancy) through adolescence and teenage years get the healthiest teeth and gums possible.