School. It’s a place for kids to learn, grow, socialize, and in some communities, receive dental care. Dental care is especially vital in growing children for many reasons, including teaching them a lifetime of excellent oral health skills, but did you know it can also prevent absence and save millions -maybe even billions- of dollars annually? It’s true. In fact, according to a recent study by the NYU School of Dentistry, cavities or caries are the number one chronic disease in children, and one out of every five elementary-aged children has at least one untreated cavity!
School programs for cavities have been proven to cut cavities in children by dramatic numbers – over 50 percent in some communities, but unfortunately not every community offers in-school dental programs. Worse yet, with many schools still shuttered due to the pandemic, schools that do offer programs may not be able to provide this very necessary care for their students.
So, what can be done? First and foremost, if your school does not offer this type of program, lobby your local school board to adopt one. If it is not feasible, encouraging excellent oral care at home is all the more crucial, especially in young children. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that because your children have baby teeth that will eventually fall out and be replaced by healthy adult teeth that oral hygiene is not important. Dental cavities can cause missed school due to pain and inevitable dental restorations.
Another big plus to taking excellent care of your children’s teeth? Teaching them how to care for their teeth on their own, a skill that will form healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
If you’re wondering how to properly care for your kids’ teeth, it’s not as challenging as you think! Children’s teeth need the same care as adult teeth. That means brushing teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and attending regular dental cleanings and exams with Dr. Mingus.
With preventative measures in place, you can safeguard your children’s teeth from cavities, and teach them a lifetime of great oral health.