Teaching children how to care for their teeth is an important part of parenting. When a child consumes food and sugary drinks, plaque can form on the teeth and lead to cavities. For this reason, it is important to begin caring for a child’s teeth from the moment that they first appear. This means, that dental care should begin in the first few months of a child’s life and carry through until they have established an oral hygiene routine that they can perform independently. Therefore, the following tips are offered to help parents begin to implement simple preventative methods to keep cavities away.
Brush and Floss Regularly
The best way to prevent cavities is to remove the food debris and plaque that can lead to a breakdown of the tooth enamel. This can be done by encouraging a child to brush after every meal and floss every day. Young children may need assistance from their parents to reach their back teeth. Additionally, older children may need a daily reminder. For children of every age, a chart can be a great way of keeping track of when they last brushed.
Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugary and acidic foods are more likely to begin breaking down the tooth enamel. For this reason, it is best to avoid sugary foods and drinks whenever possible. Juice is a common culprit of cavities as many people overlook the amount of natural sugar that these drinks contain. For this reason, it is better to mix half a cup of juice with water to lower the sugar content. Rinsing the mouth out with water or brushing after consuming sugar will also help to reduce cavities.
The back molars of a child’s mouth are not only hard to reach when brushing, but they also contain tiny cracks on the surface that are prone to tooth decay. For this reason, dentists often recommend placing dental sealants on these tooth surfaces as soon as they appear in the mouth. This common dental procedure is painless, takes only a few minutes to complete, yet it will offer long-lasting results.
Regular Dental Visits
During the first year of a child’s life, they should visit the dentist to ensure that their teeth are developing properly. Then, they should visit their dentist on a regular basis for exams and cleanings. During an exam, a dentist will offer even more suggestions for how to prevent cavities in children such as whether or not they need fluoride.
Keeping cavities away from children’s teeth is simple as long as a few simple tips are followed. By encouraging regular tooth brushing, avoiding sugary foods and visiting the dentist on a regular basis, parents can begin to establish an oral hygiene routine that will ensure many years of cavity-free teeth.
Lyndsi is a freelance writer and mother of two. Currently she is working with a dental marketing consultant to promote dentist advertising. Lyndsi also enjoys rock climbing and camping with her husband and children.