The Importance of Oral Hygiene for Children

Our recent “Clean Teeth for Toys” event was just “what the doctor ordered” to encourage a number of our patients to register their children for Whittier Street Health Center Mobile Oral Health Van Services.

Kids age infant to 17, accompanied by a parent, were treated to gifts and refreshments during the three hour festivity, following which several got in line to sign up for dental care. And no age is too young to begin good dental hygiene.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 5 children aged 2 to 5 years has at least one cavity in their baby teeth. Children from low-income families are more than twice as likely to have untreated cavities, compared with those from higher-income households.

Untreated cavities can cause pain, infections, and lead to problems eating, speaking and learning. However, cavities are preventable, beginning with a healthy diet – one that limits sugary drinks, candy, and chewing gum.

Healthy tips include regularly swap out cookies and cakes for dessert with fruit, serving water at mealtime instead of soda or juice, and brushing your child’s teeth twice daily.

To develop and maintain strong and healthy teeth, include good sources of protein in your child’s diet, like milk, yogurt, and broccoli – although it might be a challenge to get them to eat that last item!

And if you haven’t already, please register your children for our dental service. We can assess oral health risks, identify patient-specific conditions and treatments, prioritize strategies to prevent or lessen the risk impact for oral diseases, and more.

Parents are the key to helping their children establish healthy habits. It is important for adults to support healthy oral hygiene by encouraging their children to eat a healthy diet, regularly brush… and register for our mobile oral health van service!

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).