The American Dental Association has established February as National Children’s Dental Health Month to promote the benefits of good oral health habits to children and their caregivers. At ZDental, we welcome people of all ages to our clinics, but we know that it is especially important to teach children how to properly care for their teeth so they will carry those healthy habits into adulthood. Here are some reasons why establishing good dental health habits is so crucial for children:

Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

You may think that maintaining your oral health is only about having a bright smile. This could not be further from the truth. No matter your age, there is a connection between the health of your teeth and gums and the health of the rest of your body. Medical science has established a connection between poor oral health and a host of other issues that can crop up later in life. When you don’t keep your mouth clean, bacteria build up and they can enter your bloodstream through your gum tissue or get into your digestive tract or your respiratory tract. This can lead to conditions like:

  • Endocarditis
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy and birth complications

While these conditions primarily affect adults, establishing good oral health habits early in life means you will be less likely to develop them as you get older.

Statistics about Children and Poor Oral Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, about 20% of children aged 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Among adolescents aged 12-19, about 13% have at least one untreated decayed tooth. When tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to gum disease and tooth loss in the future, and it can increase your odds of developing serious health issues as you age.

The good news is that tooth decay can easily be prevented through a robust oral health routine. This includes brushing twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, using mouthwash, and flossing once per day or after meals. It also includes visiting the dentist every 6 months. Children may be resistant to maintaining their oral health routine, but as a caregiver, it is important for you to ensure they keep up with their daily maintenance. Your child’s dentist is also an important ally in your efforts to establish healthy habits. Fluoride treatments provided by your dentist can prevent about one-third of cavities in children, and dental sealants can prevent 80% of cavities for years at a time.

Schedule Your Child’s Next Dental Checkup Today

We know that many children feel anxious about going to the dentist, but it’s up to you to help them feel more comfortable. At ZDental, our friendly staff can make the job easier for you. We want to help you establish good dental health habits in your children, so get in touch with us today if you need family dentistry in Bensalem, PA, or in any of the areas served by our 5 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Visit our contact page to find the location that works best for you or request an appointment online today!