February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we have some great information from Oak Mountain Pediatric Dentistry on caring for not only your first child’s teeth, but younger siblings as well.
All of us with more than one child know that some things get a bit more casual the longer we parent. Sanitizing the pacifier each time it leaves Baby #1’s mouth? Normal. Kind of having no clue when the last wash occurred with Baby #2? Also normal. There’s a reason we have first-time mom clichés, and that’s ok. However, there are areas we moms must remain diligent, regardless of how many children we have. A perfect example is dental health.
There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to caring for a child’s teeth, but that’s why places like Oak Mountain Pediatric Dentistry exist. Dr. Jeff Flannery and his staff are experts who get a genuine buzz from sharing knowledge with us parents so our kids can avoid preventable procedures down the line. While they go out of their way to make children comfortable, even utilizing IV sedation for those who are very young, have situational anxiety, or have special needs, everyone at Oak Mountain Pediatric Dentistry would rather assist parents in keeping kids’ mouths healthy from the start.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s State of Little Teeth includes some alarming information:
- A rapid form of tooth decay, known as early childhood caries (ECC), is the most common disease faced by young children, and it’s on the rise. This disease can cause lasting harm to a child’s oral and general health, as well as his or her intellectual and social development.
- Children who don’t see a dentist are more susceptible to ECC.
- Most tooth decay is preventable. Repeat: Most tooth decay is preventable.
- Early dental visits are strongly encouraged but rarely made.
Making Dental Health Fun
Instead of focusing on all the negatives and getting down on yourself, find some ways to involve your kids in their own dental health. One great resource is The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Mouth Monsters campaign. These cute characters are fun for kids to learn about, and in getting to know the monsters, they understand why they’re brushing and flossing. (Side note: We parents are learning, too!) There are all kinds of fun things available on the site — “Wanted” posters, Mouth Monsters defense kits, and more.
Be Encouraged, Mama!
As with most things in parenting, we will be rewarded when we take the time to do it the right way. By taking our kids to the pediatric dentist early, utilizing the tips shared by experts, and working to avoid the multiple children slide, we are setting our kids up for not only strong oral health, but strong general health, intellectual development, and social development.
When your second, third, or fourth child is fighting the toothbrush again, and other children are running around like crazy, and you just want them all in bed, remind yourself that what you’re doing is good, and those precious kiddos deserve healthy teeth. You’ve got this!
Note: All Mouth Monsters images are used with permission from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.