Children dental health tips

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Taking care of your child's teeth is important for their health.

At the Pediatric Dental Specialists office in Hastings, officials said they often see children who are not receiving the help need to brush their teeth.

"It leads to severe and rapid decay in their mouth and then we end up having to take young children and putting them asleep under anesthesia to help correct their teeth, and that's a major procedure just like having any other medical surgery done," Holly Randone, a pediatric dentist with Pediatric Dental Specialists, said.

One parent, Paula Waugh, said there were things she wasn't aware of when it comes to children dental health, until her third child.

"Even when they don't have teeth, it's very important to brush their gums," Waugh said. "They make these little tooth brushes that you put on your finger and you brush their gums with that little tooth brush."

Parents are also encouraged to do different activities to help make brushing your teeth fun.

"When they get to be a toddler age or even school aged, it's fun to make a chart and the child can then put a sticker on there every time they brush their teeth," Randone said. "It just makes it a fun activity." "There's some really fun apps online that you can get and they will have little timers on there to make sure your child is brushing long enough," she added.

The office does a number of things to raise awareness of children's dental health month, including visits to schools.

"It is great for the kids to be informed," Katie Vaughn, a registered dental hygienist with Pediatric Dental Specialists, said. "Show them how to do it, tell them why it's important and them watch them do it as well." "The more times kids hear things the better off they are going to find the value in it and hopefully be brushing twice a day and flossing once a day," she added.

Officials said parents should brush their child's teeth until they are seven-years-old to help prevent cavities.

They add parents should schedule a dentist appointment for their child every six months, brush their teeth twice a day and floss their teeth once every night.