As we approach the end of 2015, and the holiday festivities are winding down, many parents acknowledge that they may have loosened up a bit on their children’s oral health routine during the last few of weeks of the year. Dental appointments may have been cancelled and an unusual amount of sweets and treats have been served at parties and family gatherings. Therefore, stopping for a moment to do a little oral health planning for the New Year is a wise choice to get back on track for 2016.
Park View’s Point of View
The goal of our practice is to always report cavity-free visits and educate our parents and young patients on the necessary steps needed to create a lifetime of healthy smiles. We also try to make oral health a positive experience for children and often do a fun raffle or contest during the month of December as an incentive to keep appointments during the busy holiday season.
This December we are also providing parents with our year-end planning checklist, which will have you entering the New Year fully equipped to keep those young smiles bright for a lifetime.
YEAR-END PLANNING FOR YOUR CHILD’S ORAL HEALTH IN 2016
#1— Do you have your child’s next dental appointment booked for 2016?
Even if your child did make it in to the dentist during the last couple of months of the year, it is important to have the following six-month visit booked. Busy schedules make it easy to overlook that six-month mark, however, once something is already on the calendar, adjustments can easily be made around that time if a conflict occurs. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry not only recommends, but continually stresses the importance of visiting your dentist twice a year to maintain healthy teeth and gums. A new cavity can actually form within a six month time period.
#2— Do you think your child may need orthodontic care?
This year, we were pleased to introduce our new in-house orthodontist. Coming in to the dentist every six months is also a good checkpoint to monitor whether or not your child may need early orthodontic care. We now have a complete section on our website devoted to our orthodontic care and warning signs to look for. (LINK)
#3— Have you replaced your child’s toothbrush recently?
Whether your child uses a manual or electric toothbrush, the end of the year is an excellent time to replace this most valuable oral health tool. Making sure that those worn down bristles are replaced, will provide the maximum benefit of brushing. It is also a good time to stock up on dental floss, oral rinses and batteries for their battery-powered toothbrushes.
#4— Do you have a mouth guard for your active child?
Many children may have gotten skates, skies or hover boards as holiday gifts. While we always stress the importance of children using a mouth guard for playing sports, it is equally important for these other recreational activities. We would never want a treasured holiday gift to be the cause of a dental emergency.
#5— Do you have healthy snacks on hand for your child?
Limiting sugar intake and maintaining a healthy diet, complete with fresh fruits and vegetables is of the utmost importance for oral and overall health. Choose sugar-free snacks like hummus and carrot sticks, popcorn, pretzels, apple slices or cucumber rounds dipped in a yogurt and herb dressing. Do not give children sugary soda drinks, rather pure water, flavored with fresh citrus or mint. Getting children in the water-drinking habit is also good to rinse the mouth fresh throughout the day and keep children hydrated.
#6— Do you have any oral health questions or need assistance in presenting oral health in a positive way to your child?
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we are always here to answer questions or concerns, both during and in between visits. We offer parents and young patients valuable oral health tips and education throughout the year, including dietary advice and unique circumstances, like how to break a thumb sucking habit and treating special needs cases. There are also many wonderful children’s books available on dental visits and oral health, that present the experience in the most positive light.
Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2016!