A few weeks back, I took my boys to their annual checkups. They both checked out healthy with the exception of one thing. The pediatrician asked when the last time was that either of them saw a dentist. I drew a blank. Rhett, my 3.5 year old, had only seen a dentist once in his life, and it was when we lived in Georgetown. I think he was one. And Vance, being 1.5 years old, had never seen a dentist before. I responded remorsefully as any mother would, telling the pediatrician that they were due for dentist appointments and we would make them as soon as possible. He agreed, giving me a few names of pediatric dentists in the area.
As I left that day, I scrambled to remember the names of those pediatric dentists that Dr. Brown had shared. I didn't know of any dentists being new to the Dallas area. Not only that, ideally I would love to find a dentist that could see all of us in one swoop; both a kid-friendly and adult-friendly practice. The boys weren't the only ones who lacked a proper teeth cleaning. I hadn't seen the dentist since right after I delivered Vance. Embarrassingly, that means I hadn't been to a dentist in almost two years! The problem wasn't so much that I didn't like going to the dentist, it was the fact that as a stay-at-home mom, it was nearly impossible to take the boys with me to a dental cleaning, and then a hassle to find a separate dentist for them. Also appointments were generally booked out so far that I couldn't keep track or plan that much in advance.
My mind searched for answers, wondering if I could find a family dentist that saw both kids and moms. This is when I was introduced to Jubilee Dental. Jubilee Dental is a family dentist located in the Dallas area, including locations in Allen and Lewisville. They also have locations in Wichita Falls, Sherman-Denison, and in Midwest City, OK. Their mission is to make regular visits to the dentist easy, comfortable and stress-free. Not only that, their goal is to work with families on a safe and comprehensive treatment plan to provide the highest quality care for families. Yes, they see kids AND adults, making it possible to see the entire family in one appointment. All of this, plus a kid-friendly environment to distract my children while I had my own dental exam... and I was sold.
Today, I am going to talk about a brief background on the importance of kid's oral health based on my own research. Thereafter, I will follow up with an additional blog post after I visit Jubilee Dental to share what I have learned and to review my experience. Here we go!
Why are early childhood dental visits important?
Early childhood dental visits are important to ensure that children build healthy oral hygiene and to correct any issues or habits that may hinder their oral health. Visiting the dentist earlier will give your child a better chance at preventing tooth decay and cavities. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than forty percent of children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten. Tooth decay in children is absolutely preventable with the help of early and regular trips to the dentist.
What age should children start visiting the dentist and how often?
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that a child's first visit should be when the first tooth erupts in the mouth, no later than the age of one to two. The key is to start introducing children to the dentist early, not only to inspect things such as tooth decay, bite and oral hygiene, but also to familiarize them with the dentist. Thereafter, children should be visiting the dentist every six months.
What increases the risk of cavities in young children?
What decreases the risk of cavities in young children?
What kind of toothpaste is both effective and safe?
I've heard the argument for both fluoride containing toothpaste and fluoride-free toothpaste, and I look forward to hearing what Jubilee Dental has to say. As for fluoride toothpaste, apparently toothpaste containing fluoride is the only way to prevent cavities and prevents cavities by at least 25%. Not only that, but fluoride also makes the enamel of teeth stronger. Fluoride containing toothpaste is also touted as a "natural" ingredient, since it is a naturally occurring mineral. Further, the FDA has approved fluoride as a safe and effective treatment and has limited the amount of fluoride in children's toothpaste as a "safe" amount for kiddos to ingest.
Moral of the story, based on my own personal research, it seems that fluoride is a necessary part of achieving oral health in children (and adults).
So how do you find the right toothpaste for your kids? Experts recommend choosing a toothpaste that has been awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means that the toothpaste has passed several tests proving that the toothpaste is both safe and effective. Not only that, but the safety and efficacy is scientifically proven. Albeit, only fluoride-containing toothpastes are awarded ADA Seals of Acceptance, so any fluoride-free toothpaste will not fall within this category, unfortunately. Last point, ensure that the toothpaste does not contain added sugar that would promote rather than prevent cavities.
Do kids need to floss?
Oral B suggests that when kids hit the age in which their teeth are close enough together that they are touching, so around age two to three, that parents should introduce the habit of flossing. Whoa! However, children develop their own ability to floss around the age of ten. I will ask the dentist about this one!
How often should kids switch out their toothbrushes?
According to the American Dental Association, toothbrushes need to be replaced around once every three months. This is primarily due to bristle wear. As the bristles wear down, the amount of plaque they’re able to remove goes down significantly. Simultaneously, it is important to rid the toothbrush of as much bacteria as possible after each brush. How can you do this? The toothbrush should be well-shaken under water to prevent bacteria from building up. Brushes should always be stored standing up (who knew?)! A toothbrush holder is a worthwhile invest. And lastly, toothbrushes should never touch each other while being stored.
How can your family visit the dentist regularly?
As I mentioned before, visiting the dentist can be a pain. What I suggest in making these appointments as pain-free as possible is to find a local family dentist, like Jubilee Dental Group. In my opinion, to up your chances of consistent visits (every six months), I would choose a dentist that offers the following:
Stay Tuned for Tips from Our Upcoming Visit
We will be visiting the dentist next week, so please stay tuned for all of our tips and tricks on family dental health from Jubilee Dental Group.
This message has been sponsored by Jubilee Dental Group.