Children’s Dental Health Month: What Do You Know?


Taking care of your children’s dental wellness is no easy feat – and we’re to help! February is Children’s Dental Health Month. The ADA states that this month-long national health observance seeks to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. Monitoring your child’s oral health can be essential to setting them up with healthy habits for a lifetime – and a healthy smile to prove it!

The Alarming Statistics

Children are most susceptible to cavities, which is one of the most common chronic disease in American children. The CDC provides these stats to better put it into perspective: 

  • About 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
  • 1 of 7 (13%) adolescents aged 12 to 19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
  • Children aged 5 to 19 years from low-income families are twice as likely (25%) to have cavities, compared with children from higher-income households (11%).

However, cavities are preventable, which is good news! Keep reading to see what you can do as a caregiver.

The Role of Caregivers

As a parent or caregiver, you have a big responsibility to make sure you’re taking care of your child’s teeth. Starting from babies to teenage years, here are some tips to help keep your child’s smile healthy. 

If you’re child is a baby: 

Wipe gums twice a day with a soft cloth. Do this after the baby’s first meal of the day and right before bed. Once they start getting teeth, make sure to gently brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. We recommend no toothpaste at this age, just with water. 

When they turn 1: 

As soon as your baby gets their first teeth or turns one, get them to the dentist! Your dentist will make sure their smiles are healthy and moving in the right director. They can also provide you tips, like using fluoride and more that help promote good oral health in children. 

2 years and older: 

Keep brushing their teeth twice a day, but begin using a fluoride toothpaste. To further get fluoride, have them drink water straight from the tap. Fluoride in water is the most efficient way to help keep your children from developing tooth decay. Did you know: community water fluoridation is so effective at preventing tooth decay that the CDC named it one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century? It must be good! Not to mention, it’s safe and effective. 

When your child is in this age range, be sure you’re watching them brush and using the appropriate amount of toothpaste. It’s important to make sure they’re brushing appropriately and spitting rather than swallowing. If they haven’t quite figured out how to do this on their own, be in the room with them until they’re ready.

What Are Common Dental Problems in Kids? 

Kids are kids and sometimes problems can happen out of nowhere. Common dental problems in children include tooth decay, bad breath, tooth sensitivity, gum disease, and more. Childhood habits like thumb-sucking can also interfere with the integrity of their teeth and bites. 

How to Prevent Cavities in Your Children

Watch what they eat

Sugar is often the biggest culprit, but some healthy foods can also negatively impact budding teeth and weaken enamel. Low acidic foods are better for healthy teeth, even though high acidic foods can benefit the body overall. Foods that tend to harm the teeth include: 

  • Fruits like pineapples, cherries, lemons, grapes, and plums
  • Tomatoes 
  • Pickles
  • Fruit Drinks
  • Soft drinks

Try incorporating more foods like: bananas, melons, milk, yogurt, water, and most greens. These foods tend to be less acidic. To see a more depth of low acidic foods, click here.

Have Your Dentist Use Sealants

Sealants can help prevent the formation of dental cavities. They are applied to the chewing surface of your tooth, protecting it from decay by “sealing out” food and bacteria. These are heavily recommend for children and teens. The plus side is that is also comes with no pain or down time! It is done within minutes, but your smile is protected for much longer than that.

Schedule An Appointment With Us!

Bring your children to Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies. Fluoride treatments, sealants, diet, and early detection are available tools to help you fight the fight against child cavities. Our team at Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies wants to help your family succeed from childhood through adulthood with oral health and wellness.