BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS42 Community) – The month of love is the perfect time of year to remind your kids to love their smile and take good care of their teeth.
Dr. Angelica Rohner, with Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry, says that February, and Valentine’s Day, of course, is the perfect time of year to love your smile.
According to America’s Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), nearly one in three children between the ages of two and five years old in the United States are affected by tooth decay. The good news is that decay it is entirely preventable (even during a month where sugary treats are everywhere).
“Loving your smile does not mean avoiding candy altogether. We don’t want to deprive kids of treats forever. So we suggest that they avoid sticky, pull-y candies and stick with chocolate that melts off the teeth very quickly. And then drink water after you have candy. And of course, brush your teeth,” Rohner advised.
The AAPD stresses that it’s not how much sugary treats and drinks your kids have, but how often. They advise against grazing or savoring candies during the day. Instead, eat your treats at specific meal and snack times, and always have plenty of water to drink.
Don’t forget that good oral health starts young. The AADP says to be sure not to put babies to bed with a bottle, regardless if it is milk or juice. Both contain sugar and can coat their teeth the entire time they are asleep, causing “baby bottle tooth decay.”
Jaylin, a 16-year-old patient of Dr. Rohner’s, says that she has enjoyed learning how to care for her teeth as she has grown older.
“[Dr. Rohner and their staff have] helped me mature in terms of my brushing and making sure I do everything the right way,” Jaylin said.
Whether you have a new baby or a teenager like Jaylin, it never hurts for your kids to have a refresher on the proper way to take care of their teeth.
“The best way to teach children to brush their teeth is to lead by example. Brush with your children. Ask them to spend at least thirty seconds on each section of their mouth. And have them brush not only the tops of their teeth but also the cheek side and the tongue side as well. And then, of course, have them floss two times a day,” said Rohner.
For babies, there are a few things to keep in mind besides the warnings against bottles with sugary contents before bed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns strongly against teething gels and rings that could be harmful to your child. Finally, it can be a struggle, but weaning your baby off a pacifier by age three is highly recommended. Dr. Angelica Rohner can help with ideas to encourage your child to stop their sucking habit and discuss your child’s particular situation.
Learn more about Dr. Angelica Rohner and her practice by clicking here.