Parents and caregivers often know what needs to be done about their children’s oral health. Unfortunately, about 80 percent of them admit engaging in practices they are aware are bad for their kids’ teeth.
The second edition of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s, State of Little Teeth Report, discusses many of these parental failures. Here are common ways you could be also knowingly harming your children’s teeth.
1. Frequently Serving Juice to Kids
78% of parents and caregivers surveyed by AAPD understood the negative impact of juice on little mouths. Still, about 34% of them said they frequently served the unhealthy drink to their children. Juice contains a lot of sugar which is detrimental to oral health. Certain harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar to create acids that hurt tooth enamel. The enamel-eating acids eventually cause holes in teeth.
2. Putting Kids to Bed With a Bottle
Letting a child fall asleep with a bottle of a sugary drink is a leading cause of early childhood cavities. While an impressive 85% of parents and caregivers know that this habit is harmful, 20% of them still put babies to bed with a bottle. When kids are asleep, the milk or juice in the bottle stays around their teeth. The sugar in the liquids starts a chain of events that lead to teeth decay.
3. Allowing Kids to Snack Regularly
91% of parents and caregivers understand the negative consequences of poor diets on teeth development. Still, 57% of them don’t limit the number of times their kids eat snacks each day. Most snacks contain sugars. Snacking multiple times exposes teeth to sugars which eventually leads to cavities.
4. Delayed First Visit to a Dentist
According to the AAPD, every child should visit a dentist by the kid’s first birth or as soon as the first tooth erupts. Unfortunately, a whopping 74% of parents fail to follow through with this recommendation. An early visit to a pediatric dentist in Lehi can help diagnose a child’s dental health. The first visit is also a vital opportunity for a discussion on good oral habits and dietary practices. Delaying this visit can, therefore, have adverse effects on a child’s oral health and a family’s finances.
5. Poor Role-modelling
Parents’ beliefs and practices significantly influence their children’s oral health habits. Poor role modeling inevitably leads to poor oral habits. A parent should be a good role model for favorable dental health habits. Parents should brush at least twice daily, floss daily, limit snacking and visit a dentist twice annually. As a parent or caregiver, you play a crucial role in the dental health of your child. It’s your responsibility to not only arrange dental appointments but also inform, guide and encourage your kid towards a favorable dental lifestyle.
Don’t knowingly compromise your child’s oral health. Doing so will compromise your kid’s ability to eat and speak properly. It will also eventually hurt your child’s aesthetics and self-esteem, and even your finances.