February is National Children's Dental Health Month and we want to provide some useful tips and knowledge about children's oral health.
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions children in the United States face. Untreated cavities can cause severe pain and lead to infections that can cause problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Poor oral health can also eventually lead to missing school which could result in lower grades.
Infants are susceptible to tooth decay if they have been given pacifiers dipped in sugar, honey, juice, etc. Tooth decay can also begin when cavity-causing bacteria is passed from the saliva of a mother or care-giver to the baby's mouth. This is likely to happen if someone cleans a pacifier in their mouth or shares a feeding spoon with the baby.
Children often develop a fear of visiting the dentist therefore it's important to mold their views about dental visits and oral health positively.
Here are some useful tips to get your child excited about oral health
Make oral health an important part of your daily routine. Try to make brushing teeth fun by creating a song they can hum or listen to while brushing. This is also a great way to teach them to take their time.
Introduce books about visits to the dentist and oral health. Make it a routine to read a book before or after they brush their teeth, this creates excitement.
Try brushing your teeth as a family. When children see an adult doing something they too will be influenced to do the same. If your little ones see that you like brushing your teeth, they'll be more interested in brushing theirs.
Allow children to choose the toothbrush they want. Whether it's a toothbrush with their favorite TV character or their favorite color, offering that type of independence will make them feel good and make them want to keep brushing their teeth.
Tips on how to prepare your little one for their first dentist visit:
Talk to your child and explain why oral health is important.
Let them know what they can expect and avoid creating anxiety around the visit.
Schedule the appointment at a time the child is well rested.
Avoid using a visit to the dentist as a punishment or threat.
These tips are sure to help your little ones develop positive associations to dental health. The American Dental Association recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child's first birthday.
If you need help locating a dentist call Anna -- Oral Health Educator, Public Health -- 223-6407.
Save the fourth Saturday of every month for more outings held at fun venues around the county. Story time, a snack and a free book are provided each month!
Children's Dental Health
Be sure to check out the display at the Amador Public Library
in Jackson this month!
Calling all Child Care Providers
& Preschool Teachers!
How can you give kids the best start in life?
... by taking your children to well-child and dental check ups and also, by doing an "ASQ."
The Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) is a way to make sure your child is "on track." The screening tools are designed to be completed by parents or primary caregivers, that encourage parent-caregiver involvement.
Each questionnaire can be completed in 10-20 minutes, and is divided into five areas: Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving, and Personal-Social.
The benefit for all children and families is so that parents/caregivers know which areas they can focus on at home with their children.
For more information, please call First 5 Amador at 257-1092.
Would you like to improve the quality of care you offer to children in your family child care home, preschool setting, or other early learning environment?
Give us a call at First 5 and find out about the many resources (and incentives!) available to you, (209) 257-1092.
Fresh mixed fruit (we used strawberries, raspberries & blueberries)
Prepare the fruit and place it in a serving bowl, setting aside an extra pretty piece for the top of each glass (or cup for littler ones).
Spoon the yogurt and granola into separate bowls, with spoons for serving. Provide each child with a sundae style glass (any tall glass or even a bowl would work equally well if you don't have sundae glasses).
Allow kids to help themselves to the ingredients - layering them a spoonful at a time in the glass.
Top with a sprinkle of granola and the fruit that you had set aside and dig in!
Self Care Tip of the Month for Busy Parents
Have you ever felt that taking care of yourself comes last? Many parents feel guilty when making time to take care of themselves because they think they should prioritize their family, job, and everything else before taking time for themselves. By the time everyone is fed, teeth are brushed, homework is done, bills are paid, and dishes are done, you may feel that you don't have much energy left for taking care of yourself. You are not alone in feeling this way.
These tips can be done even if you only have 5 minutes to spare!
Connect with others!
Hug someone for at least 20 seconds or hold hands for 10 minutes.
Research shows that hugs and hand-holding reduce the effects of stress, plus, they feel great!
Smiling and laughing are excellent ways to relax.
Read a funny comic or post.
Talk to a friend who makes you laugh.
Listen to your a favorite song or nature sounds.
You can dance, sway with the music, close your eyes, or sing at the top of your lungs!
Thank you to Yolo Kids for sharing these fabulous tips!
One day, California's success
will be measured by the
well-being of its youngest children.
Calling all children 0 to 5 years of age.
Join Amador's favorite reading club!
Get free books for your children!
Currently 825Amador kids are receiving books!
Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book every
month from the Imagination Library! This is a free program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations locally. Books are available to all Amador County children aged 0-4 (from birth until their 5th birthday).