According to the 2015-2016 Washington State Dept of Health Smile Survey, researchers found that of the 13,000 kindergarten, second and third grade participants, nearly 53% of third graders have had a cavity and 40% of kindergarteners have already experienced tooth decay. While both of these figures are improvements compared to the 2010 Smile Survey, we as parents and dental professionals still have a long way to go.
Here are five simple tips to help your child have a healthier mouth:
1. Reduce the amount of sugary sweets and drinks your child consumes. Replace sports drinks and soda with water or milk.
2. Brush for 2 minutes 2 times per day with a fluoride toothpaste to help rebuild enamel on teeth. Children under age 3 only need a grain of rice sized amount of toothpaste on the brush, while children 3-6 years only need a pea sized amount.
3. Encourage flossing once per day (parents~ this goes for you, too). By not flossing, you and your children are missing 30-35% of the surface area of the tooth leaving it defenseless against those sugar bugs! Remember, Floss like a Boss because Plaque is Whack!
4. Check with your local water authority to learn if they are meeting federal Department of Health guidelines for fluoride in the water supply per new 2016 standards. If they are not, speak with your dentist about fluoride supplementation products. https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/DrinkingWater/FluorideinDrinkingWater
5. Regular check-ups with your dental hygienist and dentist. Allowing dental sealants to be placed to help seal out decay and for professional topical fluoride application.
Rainier Dental believes in taking great care of mouths of all ages. It is so very important to bring your children into the dentist regularly beginning from their first tooth. We can't wait to see you in our office!