Children’s Dental Health
This month we will be at the Indian Valley YMCA and the Boy’s and Girl’s Club promoting children’s dental health. The goal of your OSIV team is to always deliver value for you and your family. While we specialize in braces, Invisalign and other orthodontic services, we are healthcare providers first and care about your overall health! In this month’s blog, our aim is to share some useful facts about your child’s teeth.
- Brushing and flossing removes plaque bacteria– Yes, this is well known! We know you are constantly telling your kids “remember to brush your teeth!” Brushing twice per day for 2 minutes each time not only removes the biofilm of bacteria around your teeth, known as plaque, but also removes the food sources that the bacteria use to make acids. These acids are what cause cavities and gum disease.
- Drink lots of water and avoid sticky, sugary foods– It takes three to tango… the bacteria in your mouth cannot cause cavities and gum disease by themselves. A food source is required as well as an environment for the bacteria to live. While the plaque bacteria eat the same foods we do, certain foods full of sugar are especially dangerous because they feed the bacteria directly and stick to your teeth! Sugary drinks with a lot of acid are especially dangerous. We are seeing more and more damage to the enamel of teeth from soda, sweet tea, sports drinks and even fruit juices. Avoid acidic beverages and stick to regular water for best overall health.
- Baby teeth are important– Baby teeth help a developing child learn how to eat and speak. They also hold the proper space for the adult teeth. When baby teeth are lost early and the space is not properly managed by a dentist or orthodontist, the space for the adult tooth will be lost. Conditions such as ectopic eruption (tooth coming in the wrong spot) and impaction (teeth becoming stuck in the bone) can occur when the space is not properly maintained.
- If your child plays sports, they should wear a mouth-guard!– Injuries to the mouth are very common in young children. It is believed that 20-30% of children will sustain some injury to the oral region*. Active children, such as those who play sports, are especially susceptible to injury. A properly fitted mouth-guard can not only prevent injury to your teeth, but also reduces the risk of concussion. Next month we will be sponsoring a mouth-guard campaign for the athletes of our region… stay tuned for more information!
- Snoring in children is not normal– Yes, believe it or not your mouth has much to do with your airway. More focus than ever before is being placed on the role of sleep disturbed breathing (the equivalent of sleep apnea in children) in children and their development. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can not only disturb sleep but is also known to have long term effects on the development of the teeth and jaws. Moreover, behavioral issues and poor performance in school have been linked to improper sleep cycles in children. An orthodontist is trained to look for and identify factors that can affect the function, growth and development of the jaws and face.
As always, keep regular 6 month dental check-ups for your kids with their dentist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a first visit to the orthodontist by age 7. It’s not because every child will get treatment at this age, but rather there are many conditions orthodontists screen for which if left undetected can alter the development of your child’s teeth and jaws. We are proud to be your Souderton, Telford, Sellersville and Perkasie area orthodontist. To schedule a consultation for you or your child, click the link on our main page or call 215-799-4602. #alwaysgiving
Justin Silvestre, DMD
*Epidemiology of Traumatic Dental Injuries. Lars Andersson, DDS, PhD, DrOdont