Did you know that different oral health risks occur at different ages? That means you\u2019ll need new oral hygiene habits and dental treatments at different stages of your life. In our Oral Hygiene Tips blog series, we\u2019re taking a look at the kinds of oral health issues you should expect and the habits you should practice at certain ages. Our Hudsonville family dentists will be there for you every step of the way. For our first blog, let\u2019s discuss some oral health risks and hygiene tips for children. Typical Risks to Your Child\u2019s Oral Health The two most common health risks for young children are cavities and common dental emergencies. Dental Cavities 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have had dental caries (cavities) in their baby teeth. While this statistic is troubling, you may be thinking, \u201cWait a minute \u2014 why does it matter if cavities form in baby teeth? Aren\u2019t they going to fall out anyway?\u201d While it\u2019s true that baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) aren\u2019t permanent, that doesn\u2019t mean tooth decay is less of a problem. We have to treat cavities in children\u2019s primary teeth so their adult teeth will emerge correctly. Also, untreated cavities in primary teeth can invite dangerous infections into the body just as much as untreated cavities in adult teeth. Tooth fillings for children with cavities can help stop tooth decay and prevent gum disease. Common Dental Emergencies Childhood is full of bumps and bruises. As a parent, you probably know the difference between a small scrape and something more serious, but what if you have to evaluate a dental injury? Do you know how to identify a dental emergency? Common dental emergencies for children include: \tKnocked out tooth \tCracked tooth \tTongue or lip bite \tToothaches \tObject stuck in teeth Generally speaking, if your child\u2019s injury presents an immediate threat to their health (e.g., a broken tooth with jagged edges), you should see our emergency dentists at once. If your child is struggling with something less urgent, like a minor toothache that isn\u2019t interrupting their ability to eat, sleep, or speak, then you can schedule an appointment with our family dentists and we\u2019ll see your child as soon as possible. Keep in mind that serious facial trauma requires emergency medical treatment, not dental treatment. If your child has a dental emergency, like a lost tooth, but also other injuries, like a broken nose, then you should take your child to the emergency room first. Teaching Your Child Good Oral Hygiene Habits The best way to protect against dental emergencies and cavities is to practice good oral hygiene habits. For children ages 0\u20139, our Hudsonville children\u2019s dentists focus on: \tProper brushing technique: Even before your child has teeth, you should wipe their gums regularly with a gentle washcloth. Once their teeth start coming in, start brushing. Your child can start brushing (with your supervision) as soon as they can hold a toothbrush and spit on their own. Your child should brush their teeth twice a day. \tFluoride treatments: Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel. We encourage parents to buy fluoridated toothpaste for their children. Our family dentists can apply a stronger fluoride treatment in our office to protect your child\u2019s teeth as well. \tDental sealants: Our Hudsonville dentists can use dental sealants to protect your child\u2019s first and second molars from cavities. As soon as these emerge, we\u2019ll paint a sealant on them to keep food debris and bacteria out, preventing tooth decay. \tProper eating habits: It\u2019s never too early to teach your child that sugary foods and drinks lead to cavities. Help your child establish healthy eating habits to protect their oral health and their overall health. \tDental and orthodontic visits: It\u2019s important to get in the habit of taking your child to the dentist every six months. That way, we can monitor the development of their teeth and respond to any problems before they develop into dental emergencies. Additionally, between the ages of 7 and 9, you\u2019ll typically want to schedule your child\u2019s first orthodontic visit. Protect Your Child\u2019s Oral Health Our Hudsonville, MI, children\u2019s dentists can help you keep your child\u2019s oral health on the right track, whether they\u2019re dealing with cavities, suffering from a dental emergency, or just need preventative care. Call Hudsonville Dental today at (616) 209-4024, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.