ADA Offers Tips To Promote Oral Health for Adolescents
National Children’s Dental Health Month, and the American Dental
Association (ADA) recommends that parents act early to insure the
health of their children’s teeth, as it will affect their overall
health in the long-term. And, attitudes and habits established at an
early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life,
according to the ADA.
recommends regular check-ups — including a visit to the dentist
within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than
the child’s first birthday — as well as preventive care
measures such as cleanings and fluoride treatment. Routine dental exams
uncover problems that can be treted in the early stages. When
necessary, x-rays should be taken to see how the teeth are developing
and to spot hidden decay.
considered one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth
decay and can be used in various ways to protect your child. Dentists
- drinking fluoridated water;
- taking prescribed fluoride tablets or drops, only if you don’t live in a fluoridated community;
- fluoride application in the dental office;
- brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste; and
- using a fluoride mouth rinse for children over age 6.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
tooth decay (BBTD) occurs when a child frequently is exposed to such
sugary liquids as milk (including breast milk), fruit juice and other
sweet liquids, and can destroy the child’s teeth. The ADA offers
the following steps to prevent your child from developing BBTD:
clearing your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth.
Wipe the baby’s gums with a damp washcloth to remove plaque after
allow your child to nurse or breast feed for prolonged periods and
don’t give him or her a bottle with milk, formula, sugar water or
juice during naps or at night in bed.
- Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday.
- Disourage frequent use of a training cup.
- Help your child develop healthy eating habits early.
children who suck their thumb risk improper growth of the mouth and
tooth misalignment, the ADA advises that children should stop
thumbsucking by the time permanent teeth come in, usually around 6 or 7
years old. You can offer praise and rewards to your child for not
sucking the thumb; however, if this doesn’t work the ADA suggests
consulting with your dentist.