Kearney, NE – February is National Children’s Dental Health month and local dentists want you to know how to keep your child’s sweet tooth from becoming a cavity. Dentists say it starts at home – as early as six months, a parent can start protecting a baby’s first teeth.
“When they have one or two teeth, make sure these are wiped down after each feeding, as it gets the plaque and bacteria off those teeth,” said Dr. Brett Carranza. Carranza works at Kearney Paediatric Dentistry, where he sets the stage for patients to have a perfect adult smile. He says parents also should avoid giving kids food right before going to sleep. “If parents give their children a snack before bedtime, that sits on their teeth and causes cavities.” He says exposure time to bad foods causes those cavities.
“Early on, dentists will tell parents to watch the sticky, chewy and sugary foods that kids are having,” said Amy Downing. Too many sweets can be a toothache for children and a headache for parents.
“Dental pain can take them out of class, so it they are at home with dental pain, they aren’t actively learning,” Carranza added. Some children have a fear of the dentist, so he says the earlier, the better.
“They came with me a little bit just to get used to the dentist, then when they were about three, they had their own dentist appointment,” Downing shared.
Carranza says regular check-ups for children should occur about once every six months, or once every three months for severe cases. – Andrea Braswell