Taking extra precautions to protect keiki at the dentist
Sponsored by HDS
It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month and Hawaii Dental Service wants to answer some common questions parents have about oral health care for kids. HI Now host Kainoa Carlson caught up with HDS participating dentist Dr. Christopher Lee to get some answers.
Many parents have been keeping their children home due to the pandemic, but Dr. Lee says it’s safe to see a dentist.
“I’m sure a lot of parents are hesitant or even fearful of taking their children to appointments these days, but dentists have implemented measures to keep both clients and staff safe,” he says. “Appointments are spaced out to sanitize between patients, our staff wears extra personal protective gear, and we try to minimize the use of aerosols when treating patients.”
Dr. Lee says they do their best to make the office a safe environment for patients, parents and staff because dental care is still necessary and essential during a pandemic.
When it comes to dental care for children, some parents believe that a child’s baby teeth don’t need much care, but Dr. Lee said dental care should begin at a child’s first birthday.
“Dentists will examine their teeth, gums and mouth to see if development is on track or if there are any issues that may arise in the future,” he says. “Baby teeth are important even if they fall out. They maintain the spacing needed for new permanent teeth to grow. Decaying baby teeth can affect neighboring permanent teeth, so routine exams are so important in the early stages of childhood.”
Dr. Lee says children should see their dentist every six months to prevent cavities and other issues. Even babies should see a dentist twice a year to track their development. It’s also important to supervise children while brushing and flossing their teeth until age four or five.
“It’s easy for kids to get lazy and cut corners when it comes to oral hygiene,” he adds. “We encourage parents to brush their teeth along with kids for two full minutes. That way, healthy habits are instilled at an early age.”
For more information: HawaiiDentalService.com, or on Facebook and Instagram: @hawaiidentalservice