Dental Health Education

Two Kids eating apples

Most dental decay is preventable

 

Great dental health comes from and contributes to your overall health

Good oral health requires more than just brushing and flossing; it requires proper nutrition, physical activity, being tobacco free, and whole body wellness.  There is growing evidence that poor oral health, gum disease and tooth decay can increase your chances for other chronic diseases such as heart disease.  See your dentist twice a year, brush twice a day, floss, and after eating foods that stick to your teeth, brush as soon as possible.

Oral health and employment

Poor oral health can result in missing, discolored or capped teeth, make it harder to find or keep a job. When you have good oral health, it is easier to put your best foot forward. A healthy, winning smile gives confidence!

Did you know dental decay is the number one chronic disease among children?

Local dental screenings of third graders found at least 25% of our children in Solano County have significant dental issues – 21% needed to see a dentist soon. Shockingly, 4% have critical issues like broken teeth, urgently needed root canals, and even abscesses (pockets of infection) that can become dangerous enough to require a trip to the emergency room if not seen by a dentist right away.

Dental pain and school attendance

Did you know that if your student is having a hard time in school, it could be due to a toothache? When students miss school, it is much easier to fall behind. Dental pain from an infection makes it difficult for a student to concentrate in school and participate in activities. A child who picks at food and avoids hard, crunchy food like carrots and apples may have a toothache or serious abscess (infection.)  Have your child visit a dentist twice a year, brush twice a day and floss. Brush as soon as possible after eating foods that stick to the teeth.

Good oral health is important during pregnancy

It’s important to visit your dentist during pregnancy. Maintaining good oral health is a vital part of your prenatal care. Click here to learn more about oral health and pregnancy.

Once your baby is born, let your family members and caregivers know that they may transmit oral bacteria to your baby by kissing him/her on the mouth.  And, putting spoons, bottle nipples or pacifiers in your mouth to “clean” them transfers bacteria from your mouth to your baby which contributes to future tooth decay!

Breastfeeding is best for mom and baby

When possible, breastfeeding is healthiest. To help make it easier, there are many lactation resources available. A dental decay risk from bottle-feeding happens when your baby falls asleep with a bottle of formula or juice in his/her mouth. The sugary liquid pools in your infant’s mouth and soaks there for hours. This repeated exposure to sugary drinks leads to tooth decay. If you need to lay your baby down with a bottle, make sure it contains only water.

Remember: after your baby eats or drinks, wipe his/her gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth.

When to start brushing

As soon as baby teeth appear, you can start brushing. Let your toddlers brush along with you when they want to be just like mommy and daddy. Babies can start to see a dentist as soon as their teeth start to come in.

Toddlers need to see the dentist for regular checkups, too. Ask your dentist for a “happy visit” to meet and greet your toddler, and to start what hopefully will become a lifelong positive experience with dentists.  Find a pediatric dentist in your area who can spot potential problems before they happen.

Protect your child’s teeth with dental sealants and fluoride treatments

The American Dental Association reports that sealants reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars! Sealants last for years.  They prevent food from collecting in the tiny cracks and crevices in molars that are hard to reach with a toothbrush, thus preventing cavities. Your dentist or registered dental hygienist can coat the tops of your child’s molars with dental sealants.

Dentists and dental hygienists also can provide fluoride varnish for your child’s teeth.  Fluoride varnish is a gel applied to teeth to protect them from cavities. These treatments strengthen tooth enamel and support oral health.

Young people whose permanent teeth were treated with fluoride varnish experienced a 43% reduction in decayed, missing and filled-tooth surfaces. There was a 37% reduction in decayed, missing and filled-tooth surfaces when fluoride varnish was applied on first or baby teeth.

Non-fluoridated public tap water

Suisun, Rio Vista & Dixon have non-fluoridated public tap water. Make sure you and your family have the protection that fluoride can provide for your teeth. Families living in areas with non-fluoridated tap water, can buy bottled water with fluoride (ask your grocer if you don’t see it on the shelf.) As an alternative, you can ask your dentist for a fluoride varnish treatment, or a prescription for fluoride tablets or drops for your child.