February is American Heart Month and a great time to teach your children how oral health relates to heart health. Many are surprised to learn that there is a relationship between your oral health and your heart health. Research has shown that dental health and heart disease are linked because of how periodontal disease and gingivitis affect your system. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that:
Call Dr. Botero today at (813) 576-0200 to learn more about how to protect your child from gum disease (and heart disease).
What leads to gum disease? Gum disease and plaque build-up go hand-in-hand. Plaque, that invisible sticky layer of germs that forms naturally on the enamel of your teeth and gums, contains bacteria, which create toxins that irritate and damage the gums.
If you don’t think you need to worry about gum disease in children, think again. A gum disease in children study showed that 50% of children and 66 % of young adults have periodontal disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, describes inflammation of the oral tissues and bone that support your teeth. Unresolved gum disease can lead to tooth loss and more serious, whole-body problems and diseases.
During the month of February, make a special effort to talk to your children about the importance of heart health. You and your children can make simple healthy choices every day to keep hearts in good working order. This includes making healthy eating choices, keeping a healthy weight, avoiding damaging habits like smoking, exercising regularly (American Heart Association recommends 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity for children ages 6 to 17 each day), and practicing good oral health habits.
One of the best ways to ensure that oral health doesn’t lead to overall health problems is to practice excellent oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and scheduling regular cleanings and exams with Dr. Botero. Also, make sure that you are taking the time to examine your child’s mouth each day for signs of gum disease like bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the following are risk factors that could make your child more susceptible to developing gum disease:
If any of your children possess some of the risk factors for gum disease let Dr. Botero know so she can create a treatment plan that give your child, the best protection possible. Together we can work to protect your child’s smile and well-being.
Involve Dr. Botero in your child’s care to help you with your goals for a healthy heart and healthy teeth. Dr. Botero and her friendly staff at Li’l Sunshine Smiles are here to help guide you and your child to excellent oral wellness. A consultation with our team can help identify what your child needs to keep her oral health where it needs to be.
Call us today at 813-576-0200 to make an appointment and to learn more tips for healthy teeth this year.