49th ORMS Dental Flight educate dental hygiene to youth
By Staff Sgt. Christine Groening, 49th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 28, 2020
HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
During the month of February, the 49th Operational Readiness Medical Squadron Dental Flight visited kids across base to educate the importance of dental health as part of Children’s Dental Health Month.
On an annual-basis the dental flight visits the Holloman Child Development Center, Holloman Elementary School and Holloman Milddle School, providing them with knowledge on proper brushing techniques and the negative effects of not brushing teeth.
“Some of the most common issues we see in our clinic are children coming in with dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay,” said Capt. Addison Walker, 49th Operational Readiness Medical Squadron Dental Flight dentist. “If left untreated, tooth decay can cause infections which could potentially enter the bloodstream and lead to other serious health problems.”
Here are some tips to prevent dental decay in children:
- Take your children to regular dental exams.
- A baby’s first dental appointment should be scheduled within 6 months of their first tooth, but no later than their first birthday.
- Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice
- Minimize snacking on simple carbohydrates such as cereals, crackers, cookies and white breads.
- Brush their teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste for at least two minutes each time.
- Floss their teeth to remove any food or plaque
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Make it a fun nightly routine
“We showed the students the proper brushing and flossing techniques and utilized dye to stain the plaque,” said Staff Sgt. Desmond Gray, 49th Operational Readiness Medical Squadron Dental Flight technician. “I think our team made an impact for students by being able to give them factual advice, proper nutritional diets, and brushing and flossing techniques that will aid in eliminating caries (cavity) formations. Every year, the dental clinic looks forward to getting the chance to speak, educate, and interact with the students.”
Between dental visits it’s recommended to check for tooth sensitivity, pain when eating or drinking, bleeding gums, holes or pits in teeth, discoloration or bad breath.
“If parents don’t brush their children’s teeth on a regular basis, losing baby teeth prematurely due to decay or cavities can impact the space for permanent teeth to erupt,” said Walker. “If good oral hygiene is not developed early and implemented on baby teeth, then its very likely that as children get older they will continue to have poor hygiene, which will ultimately affect their adult teeth.”
For more information on children’s dental health contact the Holloman Dental Clinic at 572-3742.