Dental Care for Children from Kevin C. Lucky, DDS PLLC in WV

The Best Teeth Start Early With Dr. Lucky in West Virginia

Start early with good, clean teeth and help eliminate early childhood dental problems with Kevin C. Lucky, DDS PLLC in Beckley, Summersville, and Webster Springs, West Virginia.

What is the Importance of Early Childhood Dental Visits?

When young children get an early start on regular dental checkups, it gives them a substantial boost in oral health that carries over for the rest of their lives. Early checkups are important for preventing cavities, decay, toothaches, and other medical issues. Children who see the dentist regularly can not only use their healthy teeth to chew food, but also learn to speak and smile with added confidence.

Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise that children visit the dentist by at least age one, or as soon as the first tooth appears. By doing this “well baby visit”, parents learn how to best care for their child’s teeth along with ways to help them stay cavity-free. One important lesson shared with parents and caregivers is to avoid letting young children fall asleep with bottles of milk or juice. Getting toddlers started on drinking milk, juice, and water from a cup is an important first-birthday milestone!

What is the Best Way to Care for Young Teeth?

Tooth decay among very young children is considered to be a chronic disease in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 40 percent of young children experience significant tooth decay by the time they are in kindergarten, and in some states that percentage can go as high as 60 percent! Treating young teeth proactively is considered to be the best way to fight this chronic disease and much of the work starts right at home, with the best way to care for young teeth.

With so many young people eating and drinking food containing sugar, which contributes to tooth decay, knowing the best way to care for young teeth can be a very important step to start early. In addition, children with special medical or care needs or other sensitivities may take more to encourage them to do things like brush regularly or eat healthy foods.

What Types of Food Contribute to Cavities in Children’s Teeth?

Different types of food can contribute to the cavities in children’s teeth. Too many carbohydrates, such as sugar found in cake, chewy fruit snacks, ice cream, cookies, milk, and other beverages, along with starches in snack foods like bread, pretzels, and potato chips, can lead to tooth decay. Often, these types of foods remain on teeth too long, which leads to the erosion of the dental enamel, so cavities set in.

Parents learn that one of the best dental practices at home is teaching children to make healthy food choices. Brushing right after sticky or sugary snacks can also help avoid dental problems. What are the kinds of foods to have instead? Fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese, are great options that can lessen decay and provide valuable nutrition. Drinking plenty of water, instead of sweetened drinks or juice, is another healthy step toward better oral health.

FRUITS & VEGETABLES

Offering whole fruits and vegetables for snack time instead of carbohydrates can lessen decay and provide valuable nutrition at the same time. Fruit contains a high volume of water; pears, melons, broccoli, celery, and cucumbers are best choices. Fruits like bananas and raisins have concentrated sugar, so parents may have children brush their teeth right after eating.

Cheese

Snacking on cheese or including it with meals can help young teeth. Aged cheeses, like cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, and more, help to trigger the flow of saliva, which helps wash food particles away from teeth. In fact, avoiding sugary treats and reducing the frequency of snacking is an effective way to avoid having food particles sitting on teeth and gums.

Does Brushing Fight Tooth Decay in Children?

Regular brushing a few times a day with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste is another best practice in preventing tooth decay. Rinsing the mouth out with water several times can also help move food particles from teeth and gums. Be sure to floss at least once a day to help remove any particles that may build up between teeth and below the gum line.

Parents may not realize that many medicines, such as cough syrup, contain sugar that feed the bacteria in young mouths. Leaving this kind of sugary substance on teeth can eat away the enamel and cause cavities and decay, so be sure to brush after giving children these types of medicines.

Last, but certainly not least, visiting the dentist regularly is an excellent way for parents to get young people on the right road for good oral health. Starting at age one, or within six months of the first tooth breaking through the gums, bringing the young ones to see the “tooth doc” can help catch any developing dental problems early. Doctors Lucky and Morabito encourage all young people to visit on a regular basis, so bring them in to see us!