Monday, June 20, 2011

The Importance of Good Oral Health Habits in Children #BuildingSmiles

Summer is a great time to get your child's dental check-up done before they return to school in the Fall.

Good To Go From Head To Toe provided Dental and Orthodontic Screenings in June at Pretend City in California. During the screening they learned that a startling 50% of kindergartners have tooth decay, which begs the question, "what age should parents take their children to the dentist?" The American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend that children should see a pediatric dentist before their first birthday.

This has not always been the case and many parents are still unaware of this newer guideline. With recent studies showing oral health care is a critical component of a child's overall health, there is a need for parents to pay heed.

"Parents don't always realize they should take their child to the dentist in their first year of life," said Pretend City Executive Director Linda Hunter. "In some ways a child's first dental visit is about teaching parents about how they can promote good oral health and habits with their children. But of course, the visit may also catch early warning signs of tooth decay and any other risks in your child's oral health. It also helps little ones get more comfortable with the dentist from an early age!"

It is important to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health habits in young children and help educate parents that they should first visit a pediatric dentist before their child turns one. Your first step is to establish a dental home for the child, where oral care will take place as your child grows. Make sure and brush with Colgate and floss twice daily with your children. Then ensure your child returns twice a year for regular check-ups.

If your child is showing anxiety about going to the dentist for the first time you can engage in imaginary play with them. Our local children's museum Pretend City has a dental exhibit where children can act out through imaginary play their first trip to the dentist. You can also do this at home by acting out the office visit at home with your child. This will also help your child to understand what to expect before arriving at the dentist, helping to ease any fears.

As parents and caretakers, we want to help our children reach their greatest potential. Through regular developmental checkups, you can successfully track your child's milestones and be aware of what to expect in the days, months and years to come as your child grows.

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with #collectivebias. My photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own and not provided by Colgate.


  1. These are great tips, thank you for sharing, Shelby!

  2. Gum disease is ruining my life i cannot eat anymore, how can i make my breath smell better from bleeding gums.

  3. If you can convince your child for proper oral hygiene , they can have healthy teeth for long time.this is really nice article.

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