10 Interesting Facts about Children’s Dental Health You Should Know
It’s heartwarming to see a child smile, especially when those little pearly whites start to appear. But aside from adding up to a child’s cuteness quotient, there’s more to children’s teeth and oral health that parents and guardians need to know. Here are ten of them.
1. Children have a set of 20 milk teeth.
Milk teeth or primary teeth appear beginning on the child’s 6th month and continues on until he or she turns 3 or 4 years old. They begin shedding off typically at age 6, beginning with the two upper and lower central teeth.
2. Bacteria can cause diarrhea and fever during teething.
Teething can cause sore gums, appetite loss and disturbed sleep among babies. But if your child develops fever or diarrhea during milk teeth eruption, bacteria on fingers or toys that they chewed on for relief may have caused it. It’s best to consult your doctor when this happens.
3. Proper oral hygiene should start early, not just when the first tooth erupts.
You should know how to maintain your baby’s oral health from the get-go or as soon as he or she is born. Keep your baby’s mouth healthy by wiping the gums with clean and damp cloth from birth until the child’s first year.
4. Breastfeeding can pose oral health problems.
According to a study, 40 percent of breastfed children who are between 6 and 24 months developed some tooth decay by the time the study ended. However, it’s important to note that some of the children who participated were also introduced to beverages like juice and solid food.
5. A child’s first dental visit should follow when the first teeth erupts.
When the first tooth appears, you should take your child to the dentist. If you’re unable to do so, schedule an appointment at least before the child’s first birthday. This promotes proper oral hygiene early on.
6. Thumbsucking can cause mouth problems.
Thumbsucking is not a harmful habit per se, but it results into a problem if it goes on before the first permanent tooth erupts. It can result to crooked teeth and affect the roof of the mouth and the development of the jaw.
7. Tooth decay among children can be left untreated.
Statistics show that 1 out of 5 children between the ages of 5 and 11 and 1 out of 7 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 have one decayed to tooth that’s not treated.
Since that is the case, parents and guardians should take a more proactive approach on their children’s oral health and take them to regular dental check-ups to prevent tooth decay and other oral problems.
8. Dental sealants can help tooth decay at bay.
Aside from practicing proper oral habits, dental sealants can help prevent tooth decay among children. Typically, sealants on the permanent molars and pre-molars are advisable for children between the ages of 6 and 14. But sealants may be advisable for baby teeth as well. Consult your dentist to know if it’s suitable for your child.
9. Dental problems can affect your child’s performance in school.
Statistics show that 51 million school hours are lost yearly because of oral problems. Pain from dental disorders may cause difficulty in eating, speaking and learning.
10. There’s a simple rule to keep your child’s teeth healthy.
Maintaining your child’s oral health is pretty simple and practical, as illustrated by the 2-2-2 rule. It states that:
- Children should visit the dentist twice a year.
- Children should brush and floss at least twice a day.
- Children should spend two whole minutes in brushing and flossing their teeth.
Just like adults, children are also vulnerable to oral problems. Prevent tooth-related illness from affecting your child and keep these ten facts in mind.