February is National Children’s Dental Health month and FoundCare’s Dr. Vic Rampertaap, aka “Dr. Vic” is sharing the top 5 things parents should consider about their children’s smile – in a month when most of us are focused on Valentines’ chocolates and sweets!
FoundCare is a nonprofit Federally Qualified Community Health Center. It uses a sliding fee scale based on household size and income, and no one is turned away for inability to pay. Dr. Vic is a great spokesperson and because FoundCare turns no one away, he represents an opportunity to spotlight dental care for all. Please see his Top 5 tips below:
Dr. Vic’s Top 5:
- First Dental Visit: – First Tooth, First Birthday.
New parents often ask, “When should my child first see a dentist?” It’s never too early to start focusing on your child’s oral health. The American association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents establish a dental home for their child by their first tooth or first birthday. During this time, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to ask questions and address any dental concerns. Parents can expect a dentist to gently swab the child’s mouth to check the gums and any erupted teeth. As the child starts teething, the dentist will be able to monitor their progress and implement preventative measures, if necessary.
- Protect Tiny Teeth.
Baby teeth are so important because of their key role of saving space for a child’s permanent teeth. They stay in a child’s mouth for 8-10 years and also affect their speaking, chewing and, of course, smiling. Baby teeth can also indicate a child’s overall quality of health. Untreated tooth decay can cause oral infections that enters the bloodstream and lead to other serious health problems.
- Early childhood tooth decay has become the most common chronic childhood disease, impacting more children than asthma.
According to the ADA, more than 40% of children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten. Additionally, kids who suffer from poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain.
- If your child needs to sleep with a bottle. Water is the safest option.
One significant oral health risk for infants and young children under the age of one is “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.” This occurs when your child consumes sugary liquid and bacteria in their mouth consume the sugar and produce acid. This acid attacks the enamel on baby teeth can trigger tooth decay after continued exposure. Liquids that contribute to this condition include milk, formula, fruit juice, soda, and other sweetened drinks.
- Daily brushing and flossing are key.
While daily brushing is an important part of a child’s oral hygiene routine, bacteria that cause tooth decay can still linger between teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. That is why it is important to help your kids incorporate flossing in their daily routine.
Dr. Vic joined FoundCare in 2018 as Dental Director, bringing with him 32 years of experience as a General Dentist. He received his DDS from Howard University, School of Dentistry in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency from The Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is a former Professor of Dentistry at Nova University College of Dental Medicine and has a passion for population health and education. To encourage more pediatric dental visits during the national awareness month, FoundCare will register all pediatric patients who make an appointment during the month of February to win a free laptop.