The Cavity Free Kids program seeks to educate physicians and nurses on the importance of oral health and the application process of fluoride varnish for children. Cavity Free Kids is an oral health education program for Kansas pediatric and family physician offices and clinics.
The American Academy of Pediatrics works to improve children’s oral health through communication and collaboration between the medical and dental homes, and to make pediatricians and other health professionals an essential part of the oral health team. The Kansas Chapter supports the AAP with the Cavity Free Kids program.
Healthy teeth are an important part of children’s overall health. Families can learn how to keep children’s teeth healthy by understanding good oral hygiene, proper tooth development, and how fluoride protects teeth.
Children’s Oral Health: www.healthychildren.org
-The American Academy of Pediatrics website where you can find many additional resources including how to find a pediatric dentist.
Kansas Health Foundation’s The Truth About Teeth Campaign: http://truthaboutteeth.org/
Helping Families Raise Kids Cavity Free, It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3
- 1. Drink tap water with fluoride. Giving children fluoridated water to drink strengthens their tooth enamel. Germs that cause decay have to work much harder to get through the enamel, reducing tooth decay.
- 2. Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Dentists and physicians recommend tiny smear of fluoridated toothpaste for children under two years of age and a small pea size for children under six. Best to brush morning and night, after the last nighttime snack to know off the decay-causing germs.
- 3. Say “Yes” to fluoride varnish applications. When the doctor’s office and your child’s school ask you for permission to paint your child’s teeth with fluoride varnish, say “yes.” It will add one more layer of protection to make the tooth enamel even stronger.
For more information on this topic…
Trust Children’s Dentists for Accurate Information About Fluoride. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Click here for a free pamphlet about fluoride for children.
Did You Know?
*Dental care is the most frequent unmet health need of children in Kansas.
*5% of babies will have a form of tooth decay by 9 months of age.
*When a caregiver shares utensils with a child, cleans a pacifier with the mouth, or has other close oral contact, mouth bacteria from the caregiver can harm a child’s teeth.
*A child should have his or her first dental visit by age 1.
*If a dentist is not available, your pediatrician can help you to understand how to care for your child’s teeth and to find a dentist.
–Early childhood cavities are the most common chronic disease in children. They are even more common than hay-fever!
–The bacterium that causes cavities is usually transmitted from the caregiver. So NO pre-tasting, pre-chewing, or rinsing the pacifier off in your mouth.
–The children who are grazers or frequent snackers of sticky foods are at the highest risk for cavities.
–Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day. Until your child can write in cursive, you should always help them brush. Otherwise, they will not be doing an adequate job on their molars.
–Regular dental visits are crucial to keeping your child’s teeth healthy. You should ask your child’s doctor who they recommend for dental care and whether or not fluoride varnishes can be applied to your child’s teeth at regular checkups.
–Fluoride varnish is one very simple way to help protect your child’s teeth from decay. Fluoride helps strengthen your child’s teeth and prevent cavities from forming. The varnish can be quickly applied to your child’s teeth at checkups. They may eat or drink right afterwards. It is not painful and will not hurt them if swallowed.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: www.aapd.org
Oral Health Kansas: www.oralhealthkansas.org
-Visit their resources tabs and click on Tips and Tricks for valuable information.
More from Oral Health Kansas
Dental Apps for iPhones and i Pads
Here are four apps for iPhones and iPads that teach children about dental care, answer parents’ questions, and in one case, focus on tools for people with autism.
A favorite FREE app! This free app provides reliable, useful and fun information for families and kids.
Dental Care Aid – $2.99
A total of 38 3-D Videos display the detailed oral hygiene procedures on different groups of teeth. Therefore, with the aid of this application, those interested in educating others about oral health can explain hygiene methods more conveniently.
Cavity Free 3D – Free
This application demonstrates proper brushing and flossing techniques using four industry leading 3D dental animations. These realistic, high quality animations will guide you through the entire process of brushing and flossing your teeth with and without braces.