Quantcast

National Children's Dental Health Month


February 14, 2012
By: Heather Stitt, Canonsburg Macaroni Kid
top image
As parents we are responsible for the health of our children. That includes their dental health. The World Health Organization considers dental caries (aka cavities) a chronic disease. Yes, you read that right, a disease. On the bright side, cavities are the most preventable disease in the world.

As a practicing dental hygienist, the biggest problem I see is the over-consumption of sweetened beverages. With kids, this is usually in the form of juice. Isn't it typical to see a toddler carrying his sippy cup full of juice all day or a child who drinks 1 juice box after another? When I see multiple cavities, parents are surprised my first question to them is how much juice does your child drink - not how much candy do they eat. Why? The answer is simple. We drink more than we eat and with a greater frequency. It is the frequency that teeth are exposed to sugar in the juice that creates an environment favorable for cavity formation.

What can a worried parent do to prevent this over-exposure? If your child is used to drinking a lot of juice you may try decreasing gradually. First, start offering only water between meals. Also, water juice down if possible. For older toddlers and preschoolers, start weaning off of the sippy cups altogether. It may be a battle, but it is a battle that is better to fight at home rather than in the dentist chair while your child is getting cavities filled.

Some additional tips to keep teeth healthy:

  1. Parents should assist children with brushing and flossing until they are about 10 years old. Most children do not have the dexterity to do a thorough job until this age.
  2. Brush at least twice a day in the morning and evening. If you can, brush throughout the day.
  3. Brush for at least 2 minutes. Most children do not even come close to this. Set a timer if necessary.
  4. Floss your child daily.
  5. Visit the dentist twice a year.
  6. Have your child wear a mouth guard while playing sports.

Remember...A Healthy Smile is Always in Style

Have your say

More of this week's stories


Special Valentine Edition!

Special Valentine Edition!

I hope you enjoy this special Valentine's Day edition of Macaroni Kid Lafayette. I'm "spreading the love" with a wide array of Valentine goodies and treats because I love and care about the families in Acadiana. To enter to win, ...

Read more »

Lafayette Mardi Gras

Feb. 17 Friday Night Parade @ 6:30 Downtown to Cajun Field Feb. 17-21 Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette Cajun Field, Lafayette Feb. 18 Children's Parade @ 12:30 Downtown to Cajun Field Krewe of Bonaparte Mardi Gras Parade @ ...

Read more »

Keep Your Kids Safe, Please

Keep Your Kids Safe, Please

I ate Comet as a kid. True story. I remember it like it was yesterday. I watched as Mom cleaned, noted her tucking the caustic cleaner away under the sink way in the back, waited until she was bathing my ...

Read more »

Big Dipper Wax Works

Big Dipper Wax Works

I'm not exaggerating when I say that opening the box from Big Dipper Wax Works was the highlight of my month. I'm a candle aficionado and theirs were truly the most impressive I've run across. The words divine and phenomenal ...

Read more »

Modify Watches Suit Your Style

It's easy. Visit www.modifywatches.com. Choose your size, either classic or mini. Choose your colors for both the face and band. Add it to your cart. So, what are Modify Watches? Modify Watches are super-dope, interchangeable watches. You can mix-and-match faces ...

Read more »

Hamlet, Prince of Puddles, March 1st @ ACA

Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark, but after the untimely death of his kingly father, his mother Gertrude hastily marries his uncle Claudius. When Hamlet learns who is to blame for his father's death, he struggles to take action and ...

Read more »

Mashaka the Monkeyâ„¢

Mashaka the Monkeyâ„¢

Swinging his way from the jungles of Africa, this rambunctious, award-winning ape (chosen specifically by Toy Directory for the very prestigious Top Toy Award 2007) is sure to hang around your child and become his/her best friend. Not only is ...

Read more »

Acadiana Mardi Gras

Other Mardi Gras Parades and events Feb. 17-1951st Courir de Mardi Gras in Church Pointwww.churchpointmardigras.com Feb. 18Jennings Mardi Gras Festival & Paradewww.cityofjennings.com/events Lake Fausse Pointe Mardi Gras Parade @ 2www.lastateparks.comFeb. 19St. Martinville, Newcomers Mardi Gras Parade @ 1337-380-6031Feb. 19-2112th Carnival ...

Read more »