The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure the social, mental, and physical health of all children, spanning from birth to young adult. Often, the AAP publishes studies that offer guidelines for pediatricians to help them improve patient health outcomes. These studies and recommendations can range from anything from vaccines schedules to dietary suggestions.
Recently, the AAP released new guidelines for pediatric oral health for pediatricians to follow with their patients. Despite some children already having a dedicated dentist, these guidelines were specifically designated for pediatricians, to help advise them on how to address oral health, which studies have shown plays an important role in a child’s overall health.
According to the AAP, over 45 percent of kids will have at least one cavity by the time they turn 19. This can cause many problems for children, including dental pain and missed school due to treatment. It can even cause students to lose focus in school, causing their grades to suffer.
The report, titled “Maintaining and Improving the Oral Health of Young Children” was published in the January 2023 issue of the journal Pediatrics, had several recommendations for pediatricians to discuss with parents regarding their child’s oral health. Some of these include:
Have children only drink water between meals
Model excellent oral hygiene to children by flossing and brushing teeth in front of them
Use fluoridated water
Limit bottled water, as it does not usually contain adequate amounts of fluoride
Limit juice intake to 4 oz per day for ages 1-3 years
Limit juice intake to 4 to 6 oz per day for ages 4-6 years
Limit juice intake to 8 oz per day for children 7-18 years, or allow up to 2.5 cups of fruit per day.
Monitor children’s brushing habits until 10 years of age.
Other recommendations include having children visit the dentist for the first time by age one (regardless of if they have teeth yet), and having those children return to the dentist on a regular schedule henceforth.
For excellent oral health, follow along with these guidelines at home. If your child needs to be seen by Dr. Abelar, please contact the office for an appointment today!