Honolulu (KHON2) – Halloween can be prime time for candy and cavities so Hawaii Family Dental and Kidshine are teaming up to provide free checkups for children on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai throughout November.
The Department of Health consistently states our keiki have the most cavities in the country, with 71% of 3rd graders having cavities.
Dr. Amanda Kerns, Pediatric Dentist from Hawaii Family Dental on Kauai says challenges include lack of fluoridated water, number of uninsured people and children in Hawaii, and lack of specialty (pediatric dentistry) in Hawaii.
Tips for parents:
· Set a bedtime routine, such as Brush, Book, Bed. This will help get your child in the routine of brushing their teeth every night before their bedtime story.
· After brushing their teeth, don’t give your child anything else to eat or drink besides water. Kids that take a bottle with milk or juice to bed with them are much more likely to get cavities on their top front teeth, which are very difficult to fix due to their young age.
· Bring your child to the dentist for their first visit by their first birthday! Starting your baby young is the best way to keep them cavity free and help them be comfortable and happy at the dentist for their entire life.
Dr. Benjamin Hanks, Pediatric Dentist from Hawaii Family Dental on Maui says children should have their first dental appointment when they are one to get used to check ups and to learn proper care.
Parents are welcome to stay with their child throughout the visit
Hanks states, “It’s natural for a toddler to misbehave and it’s completely fine/normal. We specialize in kids!”
As for a common question he gets from parents about baby teeth, he says it’s important to take care of them, even if they naturally fall out, because it aids with proper development and with spacing.
Dr. David Ching, Pediatric Dentist for Kidshine on Oahu adds that it’s valuable to take children to pediatric dentists versus general dentists.
“Your child’s oral health is important and we believe every child should have access to dental care,” says Dr. Ching. “Hawaii Family Dental and Kidshine have partnered to offer 500 free exams and cleanings for kids throughout November.”
Call 369-3210 to schedule your appointment on Oahu, Maui, or Kauai. Appointments are available on a first come, first serve basis.