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National Children’s Dental Health Month: Kids should be using an electric toothbrush, experts say

It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, and health professionals recommend children improve their oral health by upgrading their toothbrush to an electric one, for instance, or evaluating the need for a mouth guard at night to stop grinding.

Dr. Margaret Madonian, pediatric dentist at Dentistry for Children in Liverpool, said it is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every day. She said parents should help with brushing until roughly age eight, and added it is crucial to make sure children are coming in for well-visits at least every six months.

“Early detection and management of oral conditions such as cavities and bite problems will improve your child’s not only dental health, but their overall physical health as well,” Madonian explained. “Dental disease can cause pain, interfere with sleeping and eating and concentrating at school.”

Madonian urged new parents to schedule their child’s first dental visits by the time they turn one. She pointed out dental decay and cavities are the most common chronic disease affecting children, and emphasized learning brushing and flossing techniques and how a healthy diet can improve oral health before problems start to occur can make all the difference.

Madonian noted while many families held off on coming into dental offices during the early months of the pandemic, now, most families understand dental offices have always been at the forefront of infection control, and do their best to keep their patients safe.

“I think on the most part people are very comfortable coming back,” Madonian observed. “The biggest stumbling blocks we find now are quarantines from school or close contact with anybody who’s been ill, that may have to delay their treatment because of that.”

Experts from UnitedHealthcare say people should also focus on gum health. A recent study highlighted how important it is, and found gum disease is associated with increased risk of complications from COVID-19.