Oral health problems affect everyone, and children and infants are no exception. Many parents are surprised to learn that dental caries (tooth decay or cavities) is the leading chronic disease among children aged 5 to 17. While no child is immune to such problems, there are simple practices that parents can do to help ensure the good oral health of their child.
Parents should plan for their child to see a dentist for the first time by age 1 so you can develop a long-term dental hygiene and cleaning plan for your child. Having a plan, which should include visiting with your child’s dentist regularly and early on, is crucial to preventing the development of tooth problems.
In addition to having a solid dental plan, your child’s diet is a significant factor that can help, or hurt, your child’s teeth. Foods that are high in sugars, like cake, cookies, candy, and soda, as well as starches, which are found in pretzels and potato chips, can cause tooth decay. Limiting your child’s intake of these types of foods will help ensure that your child grows healthy teeth, and will also benefit your child’s overall wellbeing.