Fidelis Care Reinforces Importance of Dental Care for Children
February 25, 2021 (Long Island City, NY) – In recognition of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Fidelis Care is joining with local dental providers and community partners this month to distribute more than 4,000 dental kits for kids across New York State.
Provided by Fidelis Care’s dental partner, DentaQuest, the kits include the key tools for good oral hygiene – a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste - and are a helpful reminder of the importance of building healthy dental habits in children as they grow.
“Regular dental checkups for children continue to be important and can help in preventing common oral health problems such as plaque, cavities, and tooth decay,” said Dr. Vincent Marchello, Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer. “We’re here to encourage parents to take good care of their children’s teeth and gums from an early age and reinforce the importance of dental care throughout their lives.”
Fidelis Care wants parents and caregivers to have the information and resources necessary to help build healthy dental habits for kids of all ages. Here are some helpful guidelines to follow:
- For Babies:
- Begin dental hygiene as soon as possible. Before teeth even appear, a baby’s mouth should be cleaned twice a day – after first feeding and before bed – by wiping the gums with a clean washcloth to remove bacteria and sugar. Avoid putting a baby to bed with a bottle of milk. Milk or juices can pool around teeth and cause severe decay.
- Brush regularly. Once teeth come in, a baby’s teeth should be brushed twice a day with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water.
- Check on toothpaste. Talk to your child’s dentist or pediatrician about using fluoride-based toothpaste and receiving a fluoride application on a baby’s teeth.
- Go to the dentist. Baby’s first Dentist appointment should be no later than their first birthday.
- For Children:
- Brush twice a day. Encourage children to brush their teeth twice a day – in the morning and right before bed – using fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush properly and don’t forget your tongue. Poor brushing can be just as bad as not brushing at all. Children should take their time and use gentle, circular motions as well as gently brush their tongue.
- Don’t forget to floss. Flossing once a day is a great way to stimulate the gums and reduce plaque.
- Consider using mouthwash. Mouthwash can help reduce acid in the mouth, clean hard-to-brush areas, and strengthen the teeth. A dentist can provide specific mouthwash recommendations for children.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Children should see the dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. The dentist can help remove plaque and look for cavities, and spot for potential oral health issues.
- For Caregivers:
- Model good brushing habits. Brush your teeth with the children to encourage proper brushing technique and habits.
- Avoid sugar-based food and drinks in your diet. Set a good example for the children and help them establish a lifetime of good dietary habits.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling regular dental checkups to ensure children maintain good oral health. Parents should contact their child’s dental office with any questions or concerns they may have about scheduling an appointment during the pandemic. Additional tips and resources can be found by visiting https://www.fideliscare.org/Dental-Health-Month.
About Fidelis Care:
Fidelis Care is a mission-driven health plan offering quality, affordable coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life. With more than 2.3 million members Statewide, Fidelis Care believes that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. For more information, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit fideliscare.org.