Tips to Keep Kids Smiling Amid COVID-19

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Tips to Keep Kids Smiling Amid COVID-19

Tips to Keep Kids Smiling Amid COVID-19 – COVID-19 has disrupted multiple aspects of life, including how people access dental care. That’s in part because many dental offices closed during the early part of the pandemic, and some people have stayed away since. In fact, dental care spending in the United States declined by an estimated 38% in 2020, with an additional 20% slump expected this year, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

Tips to Keep Kids Smiling Amid COVID-19

What:

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a reminder that good oral health is important to good overall health. Here are tips from Dr. Richard Gesker, chief dental officer, UnitedHealthcare.Please let me know if you’d like to discuss these tips further with Dr. Gesker during February’s Children’s Dental Health Month. Thanks. 

Start Early. While tooth decay is largely preventable, it ranks as the most common chronic disease among children. During infancy, parents should clean the baby’s gums with water and a soft cloth. At age 2, use a soft bristled toothbrush and a dab of fluoride toothpaste.Never put a baby to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or fruit juice, as these liquids can form a sugary film and lead to infection.

Your Home Hygiene. Maintaining oral health at home is important if COVID-19 requires delaying a trip to the dentist. People should brush their teeth (and tongue) for up to two minutes, after meals and before bedtime, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse for 30 seconds with a mouthwash.Floss daily and use a water flosser. Stay hydrated to avoid issues with dry mouth and limit sugary snacks and drinks.

Keep Up on Cleanings: 
The ADA recommends that during COVID-19 people continue routine oral health care, including checkups and cleanings. However, the World Health Organization recommends that nonemergency dental services be avoided in places where “intense, uncontrolled community transmission” of COVID-19 is occurring. Use sites such as covidactnow.org to check local infection rates.

Consider Alternative Treatments: To help with prevention, parents should consider fluoride supplements for children and sealants, which are plastic coatings placed on back teeth to help protect them from decay. As an alternative to filling cavities, the use ofsilver diamine fluoride has emerged as an option to help stop cavities from worsening, especially for people with a history of tooth decay.

Tap into Tele-dentistry:Some dentists and dental plans are making available telephone and video consultations, which offer people a starting point for advice and guidance to help select (if needed) an appropriate setting for in-person care,such as their own dentist, another available local dentist or a primary care physician.

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