The good folks at MetLife released a study earlier this month showing that up to a quarter of children ages five and under are at risk for tooth decay. Many parents believe that because baby teeth are temporary, there’s no need to worry much about dental health.
Unfortunately, that’s not the best. According to the Surgeon General, tooth decay is the single most common childhood disease; more prevalent than asthma or hay fever. While baby teeth are in fact going to be replaced, keeping the mouth healthy and developing properly is super important.
According to the MetLife study, parents should take their child to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth appearing. Teeth should be brushed twice daily with a baby toothbrush and water, and flossing should be introduced as soon as two teeth touch. Good oral hygiene protects so much of our health and instilling healthy habits should start as soon as possible.
For more information, see the MetLife study results.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to have healthy mouths.