Children's Dental Care: Four Steps to Getting It Right

The Right Return on Investment

Responsible parents invest a great deal of love, time, and money during the developmental years of their children. This investment provides a significant return for children, parents, and the community.

Unfortunately, however, many parents have bad memories of their trips to a dentist office when growing up. Some may remember orthodontic services that involved painful and unattractive metal braces. Whatever the reason, studies show that many children fail to receive proper dental care during childhood. In fact, tooth decay is still the primary cause of tooth loss in children, and one in five children between the ages of six to eleven has permanent teeth already damaged by decay.

The simple fact is the right dental care during childhood is another investment with a great return. Care starts at home and includes regular visits to the dentist office. Here are 4 preventative steps parents can take to ensure their children enter their adult lives with the best possible dental hygiene habits and great dental health.

Step One: Practice good daily care in the home.

Good dental health starts at home with twice-daily brushing with the correct quality toothbrush. The right toothpaste will contain fluoride and have the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. By age ten, the child should have skill with daily flossing.

Step Two: Consistent use of fluorides.

Fluoridation of public water supplies has proven to be highly effective at preventing tooth decay. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 30 percent of all children do not have access to such water. Fluoridation not only prevents decay, but it can reverse it in the early stages. A children's dentist can advise parents on other sources of fluoride.

Step Three: Limit snacking.

A children's dentist can also provide detailed guidance on snacks. Poor diets and improper snacking can prevent development of healthy teeth and encourage decay.

Step Four: Regular visits to the dentist office.

Regularly visiting the dentist office is an important step toward keeping children's teeth free of decay. Such visits can also determine early if orthodontic services are required. The dentist will provide valuable advice on everything from diet to fluoride treatments to other interceptive treatments.