What To Know About Your Child’s Oral Health (via www.theherald-news.com)

17 Feb

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.  It was designated by the American Dental Association to raise awareness about oral health care for children.  It’s important for parents to know what to expect and how to take care of their child’s teeth from an early age.

The first teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months of age.  The complete set of primary teeth will have emerged between the ages of 2 1/2 and 7.  A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.

Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones begin to grow, creating spaces between the primary teeth.  This is a natural process that provides the necessary space for the larger permanent teeth to emerge into.

Parents often wonder if they should take their toddler to a dentist.  According to Dr. Ghassan Souri, Pediatric Dentist, while baby teeth are only in the mouth for a short time, they play a vital role.  Dr. Souri explains that they reserve space for their permanent counterparts, and they aid in the development of clear speech.  Good early oral hygiene gives a healthy start to the permanent teeth; decay and infection in baby teeth can cause damage to the developing permanent teeth beneath them by keeping the enamel from properly forming.

Good nutrition is important for your child’s oral development.  Too many carbohydrates, sugar-laden foods, and starches can cause tooth decay.  Some tooth-friendly foods include fruits and vegetables, milk, and yogurt.  Avoid sticky or chewy foods, and limit snacks, especially sugary foods that linger on the teeth (lollipops, hard candies).  Never put your child to bed with a bottle filled with milk, juice, soda, or formula.

Source: http://www.theherald-news.com/2015/02/16/what-to-know-about-your-childs-oral-health/anza9ux/

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