Maine Medical Center - MMC Radio

The Importance of Oral Health at a Young Age

November 8, 201510 min
We recognize that many parents in Maine view tooth decay as an inevitable childhood disease and yet it is nearly completely preventable. The three things that parents can do to help prevent dental problems are:1. Improve the oral health of their own mouths by getting regular dental care and brushing daily to reduce the amount of bacteria in their own mouths. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria passed through saliva.2. Fluoride - Fluoride makes teeth stronger, prevents tooth decay (cavities) and also reverses early tooth decay. Specifically:a. Parents should brush their children's teeth with fluoride tooth paste twice a day.b. Parents should ask their child's medical provider for fluoride varnish applications. Fluoride varnish applications are safe, simple and effective. They can prevent up to half of all cavities.3. Start taking their child to the dentist by the child's first birthday - or as soon thereafter as possible.Other things that can help prevent tooth decay are selecting low-sugar foods and limiting drinks for toddlers to milk and water.Dr. Jennifer Dubail is here to talk about early childhood dental care.

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