Why is Oral Health So Important for Kids?

Why is Oral Health So Important for Kids

Parents, you may be wondering why oral health is so important for kids. After all, they’re just going to lose their baby teeth and get new ones, right? Wrong! Oral health is crucial for children because it impacts their overall health, cognitive development, and more. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of oral health and ways to improve your child’s oral hygiene. Keep reading to learn more!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 50% of children ages 6-8 have had a cavity in at least one primary tooth and over 50% of adolescents ages 12-19 have had a cavity in at least once permanent tooth. These are big numbers and they are numbers that dentists are determined to decrease. Besides decreasing these numbers, however, oral health is important to your children for a number of reasons. These reasons include:

Maintaining Overall Health:

Good oral health is essential to maintaining overall health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. These problems can then lead to other serious medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia.

outline of a child's brain profile

Promoting Cognitive Development:

Did you know that oral health can impact your child’s cognitive development? Studies have shown that children with poor oral health are more likely to miss school due to dental pain. This then leads to them falling behind in their studies and not performing as well academically. Furthermore, children with poor oral hygiene are also more likely to have lower self-esteem which can impact their social development.

Decreasing the Risk of Chronic Medical Conditions:

Chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes have all been linked to poor oral health. This is because these conditions can cause inflammation throughout the body which can then lead to problems in the mouth. Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene in order to decrease the risk of these chronic medical conditions.

Decreasing the Risk of Preventable Conditions:

There are a number of preventable conditions that can be caused by poor oral hygiene. These conditions include cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. By maintaining good oral hygiene, you can decrease the risk of these preventable conditions.

Avoiding Psychosocial Consequences:

Poor oral hygiene can also lead to psychosocial consequences such as social isolation and depression. This is because people with poor oral hygiene are often self-conscious about their appearance and may avoid social situations. Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene in order to avoid these psychosocial consequences.

Instilling Good Habits:

One of the most important reasons to maintain good oral hygiene is to instill good habits in your children. By teaching them the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth, you can help them develop good habits that will last a lifetime.

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of oral health, let’s talk about some easy ways to improve your child’s oral hygiene. Some simple tips include:

Brushing Their Teeth

mom and young daughter brushing teeth together

Encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also make sure that they are using the proper technique and brushing for at least two minutes at a time. Younger children may need you to do this for them until they become old enough to handle it on their own.

Flossing Daily

Encourage your child to floss their teeth once a day. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from between their teeth and gums. You may need to do this for them until they are old enough to handle it on their own. You may also need to purchase a flosser tool to help make things easier for them.

Eating Healthy Foods

Encourage your child to eat healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods help promote good oral health by providing the necessary nutrients for teeth and gum health. Avoid or limit sugary snacks and drinks as they can lead to tooth decay.

Visiting the Dentist Regularly

Make sure to take your child to the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. This will help ensure that their teeth and gums are healthy. The dentist can also spot any problems early and provide treatment if necessary.

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed the importance of oral health in kids. We listed and discussed reasons why oral health is so important for children, then we listed some easy ways to improve a child’s oral hygiene. By following these simple tips, you can help improve your child’s oral hygiene and promote good oral health.

Circular Thumbnail Photo of FEmale doctor

Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.

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