Dental Care For Your Children

Dental health tips for very young children. What you need to know as a parent.

Are you taking care of your teeth?  What about your children’s teeth?  It’s a question you’re likely to get from your dentist… whether you’re going every six months or not.  Your dental health is much more than brushing regularly and it has an impact on your health beyond your mouth.  That’s also the case for your child.  This is National Children’s Dental Health Month.


Dr. LaToya Barham, , Board Certified Pediatric Dentist, Associate Professor, Howard University College of Dentistry

About Tooth Decay ( (

Cavities (also called tooth decay) are one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. One in five children aged 6 to 11 years and one in four adults have untreated cavities. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems eating, speaking and learning. On average, over 34 million school hours are lost and over $45 billion is lost in productivity each year due to unplanned (emergency) dental care.


Our Best Defenses Against An Incurable Disease (

The Power of Brushing Twice A Day: As true as water is wet and the sun is hot, brushing thoroughly for two minutes twice a day coupled with regular flossing keeps your teeth healthy and ahead of cavities.

Trust The Dental Force: Remember, your dentist is your best friend in the fight against tooth decay. Schedule twice annual cleanings and checkups so your dentist can give you a full report on your oral health, and the measures you need to take to maintain and improve your oral health. But, Dr. Rosie Roldan, director of pediatric dentistry at Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, stresses “what happens in between (cleanings) is even more important.”

The Food Factor: Foods high in sugar give the bacteria in your mouth food to chew on. Avoiding candy, soda, juice and cookies reduces the risk of developing tooth decay. Increased sugar consumption naturally increases the risk of decay.

Fluoride Fortitude: While there is no miracle cure, fluoride, teamed with regular brushing, allows enamel to repair itself. Enamel uses the minerals from saliva and toothpaste fluoride to heal. Strong anti-cavity fluoride toothpaste and am electric toothbrush are powerful tools in the fight against tooth decay.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting bone structure, which if left untreated, can cause permanent jaw bone destruction and possible tooth loss. Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer. An advanced stage of periodontal disease exhibits inflamed gums pulling away from your bone and teeth. Other signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth or teeth that have moved
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pus coming from around the teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Tender gums
  • Bleeding gums

Treatment of early periodontal disease can be performed in-office. However, advanced stages may require surgery. Periodontal disease can be prevented and treated successfully by seeing your dentist and dental hygienist regularly and following recommended care plans.