From the desk of our Dental Assisting Department:
February is National Children’s Dental Health month. Please join us in making sure that all children are given the change to learn, practice and grow in confidence with their oral health.
Children begin forming their teeth at about 12 weeks in-utero. At the time of birth there are already 44 individual teeth in some stage of development in their tiny jaws. The first primary (baby) teeth will erupt into the mouth as early as 4 months old. Even before the first tooth pops into the mouth, oral care should be taking place. A wet cloth can be used to gently wipe out a baby’s mouth after feedings to get them used to having their mouth taken care of, sort of pre-training for brushing. A child can see the dentist at any time after the first tooth as entered the mouth, but should be getting regular dental cleanings and check-ups by the age of 3. Starting early will allow the child to build on positive visits and let them learn the difference between the medical doctor and dentist. Shadowing their parents or older siblings offers a great learning style, as well.
Children rely on adults for learning about and receiving dental care. They cannot call and make their own appointments, they cannot drive themselves to an office, they do not shop for their oral health products. It is the responsibility of caring parents, grandparents or caregivers to make sure our most precious citizens obtain dental health care. Some facts regarding children and decay are:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 19 percent of adolescents aged 2 to 19 have untreated dental cavities; and 42 percent of children aged 2 to 11 have had cavities in their primary teeth.
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools warns that 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related illnesses.
To help ensure oral health and a lifetime of good oral care habits:
- Limit children’s sugar intake
- Teach children how to brush and floss correctly
- Supervise brushing sessions and help with flossing, which can be challenging for small hands
- Schedule regular dental check-ups twice a year
These tips and more are part of the training our Dental Assistant students learn here at Community Care College. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Dental Assistant, contact us to schedule a tour of our facility.