February is the American Dental Association’s National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM). This year, the NCDHM campaign slogan is “Sugar Wars,” an appropriate focus considering the effects of too much sugar on children’s teeth—and, of course, the popularity of Star Wars among kids, too. At Drs. Boyd, we want to be your children’s allies in helping them fight the battle against the evil Empire of sugar, bacteria and tooth decay.
Believe it or not, the battle begins at home. You are your child’s first dental Jedi! Even before that first baby tooth appears, you should pay attention to your child’s dental health. After feeding, take a soft cloth dampened with warm water and gently wipe your baby’s gums. Then, when those little teeth erupt you can brush with a soft baby brush and water. Fluoridated toothpaste really isn’t necessary or recommended until they’re old enough to spit it out after brushing.
To encourage your children to make brushing and flossing an enjoyable habit, Drs. Boyd recommend making oral health care a family activity. If your kids see that brushing and flossing are important to you, then they are more likely to want to adopt this habit, too.
Drs. Boyd, The Midtown Manhattan Dentists NYC Residents Rely On
By the time your children are two years old, they should be coming to Drs. Boyd for regular preventive visits twice each year. Despite their young age, children are susceptible to the same dental problems as adults. Therefore, at these regular visits, we’ll clean their teeth, check for cavities and examine their gum tissue, as well. We understand that at two years old not all children are ready to sit still or they may be anxious about new people; we want their visit to be fun, therefore, if your child is uncomfortable we will stop and check them again in six months.
Drs. Boyd have some special tools they can use as enForcements in the daily battle against cavities. The first is fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens and builds tooth enamel so this hard outer tooth surface is better able to avoid decay. We’ll apply fluoride topically during your child’s checkup as necessary.
The other Force is dental sealants. Sealants are a hard coating that Dr. Boyd paints on your child’s molars and bicuspids; these teeth are the ones most likely to harbor the bacteria that cause decay, because of their deep grooves and pits. The painted surfaces are quickly dried with a curing light – a special Lightsaber used by dentists, to create a solid physical barrier between teeth and decay-causing bacteria.
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If your child needs to see a dentist—or if your last dental checkup was a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away—call the office of Drs. Boyd. May good oral health always be with you!