Did you know that the most common chronic childhood disease is tooth decay? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one out of every five children in the US has an untreated cavity. More than 51 million school hours are lost every year because of dental problems. Moreover, nearly 100% of cavities are preventable. Want a cavity free year? Following these four simple steps can keep you and your kids on the right path to a healthy mouth:
1. Catch up on dental visits. Start the year off right by setting up an appointment and taking care of issues you may have been avoiding. Time or finances can result in missed checkups, but putting off needed exams or dental work often causes problems to become more costly, more time consuming and more painful.
2. Commit to brushing 2min2x. Brushing for two minutes, twice each day is basic to staying cavity free. Brushing at the same time each day, as part of your regular routine can help develop a daily habit of oral care. Consider brushing with your children so they can see an example of good oral hygiene and will be motivated to care for their own teeth. Because brushing for a full two minutes can be a challenge for young children, the ADA has created fun videos that are exactly two minutes long. You can find them on the2Min2X website www.2min2x.org.
3. Help children with flossing. Surprisingly, a survey from Delta Dental revealed that 43 percent of parents said their children’s teeth are never flossed. Additionally, the ADA reports that one in ten US adults neglect flossing as well. Why not start a new habit this year and begin flossing regularly? Flossing daily helps to reach the places that a toothbrush simply cannot go and it’s one of the best ways to prevent gum disease. Children often lack the manual dexterity, until about age 8, to properly floss all of their teeth. In particular, young children often lack the ability to floss their back molars, which is where decay is often found. Help with flossing allows children the opportunity to stay cavity-free, but also helps take care of a task that is often difficult for children.
4. Check that you are getting the proper amount of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that has been shown to dramatically reduce cavities. You may not realize it, but most of the water coming from faucets in the U.S. is fluoridated. Unfortunately, bottled water usually doesn’t contain fluoride, so kids and adults that exclusively drink bottled water may be missing valuable anti-cavity benefits. Switch to tap water this year. You could save a plastic bottle from the trash and possibly your teeth from a cavity. Cavities are preventable. This could be a banner year for your teeth simply by following these simple steps!
Please call our office should you have any further questions.
Dr. A. Ozzie Jafarnia, grew up in the East Bay, and is proud to be Danville’s first board certified pediatric dentist through the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a minor in Psychology. And completed a one year post-baccalaureate fellowship with UCSF, where she was part of numerous outreach efforts in the San Francisco area. Dr. Ozzie began dental school at the University of Pacific, where she graduated with honors. She was honored with various recognitions, including the Charles Sweet Memorial Award for excellence in pediatric dentistry. Upon graduation, Dr. Ozzie began a rigorous two year hospital based residency program at one of the premier children’s hospitals in the country, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the California Dental Association. She is also gives back to the community through the Give Kids a Smile Program, annually.