There’s nothing worse than subjecting your child to the whir of a dentist’s drill because simple oral hygiene habits were not followed. Sure, kids hate flossing as much as adults, but if we’re successful at instilling good behavior early on in life, those habits will provide them with a healthy mouth that will keep them smiling indefinitely.
Nobody likes to deal with cavities. Tooth decay not only affects your health, but it is also painful to repair. The same is true for children. As a parent, if you don’t teach your children the importance of routine dental care, they could face some very uncomfortable dental procedures. To protect your child’s oral health, it is essential to understand the best ways to prevent dental cavities in children.
Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of health problems among children. Dental disease can spread to other body areas and cause fatal complications, including debilitating pain and infection of the heart valves, painful jaw abscesses, and excruciating abscess tooth infections. This article will discuss ways to keep children from having a cavity.
- Don’t Delay Visiting the Dentist
Children should visit a dentist by their first birthday and should continue to visit at least twice a year after that. Your child needs to establish a dentist-customer relationship to receive consistent dental care as they mature. Establishing this relationship early on ensures that your child will have positive experiences with the dentist.
If you delay seeing the dentist in New Haven, CT, your child may not be comfortable visiting the dentist with a parent present. Your child will start to associate your presence with pain. This makes it more difficult for them to accept dental care when they are older.
- Teach Children How to Brush
It may seem counter-productive at first, but teaching children how to brush their teeth can make a positive difference in the long run. In addition, it can be a fun experience for the entire family. Some children may be too young to brush by themselves. In this case, have the child sit on your lap as you brush their teeth.
Start the brushing process by taking out an infant’s toothbrush and giving it to your child. Point out the different parts of the toothbrush and show your child how to clean each part of their mouth to prevent cavities and plaque buildup.
- Choose a Toothpaste with Fluoride
Fluoride can harden the enamel of your child’s teeth, making them less prone to cavities. Encourage your child to brush their teeth during and after meals. Teach them that they should spend at least two minutes brushing their teeth. If possible, let them brush their teeth. This will help them develop good oral habits and understand how important it is to brush their teeth.
- Limit Soda and Juice Intake
Soda and juice contain acids that can further wear down the enamel of your child’s teeth. For this reason, it is best to limit soda consumption to one serving per day. However, it is not necessary to eliminate sodas from your child’s diet. Try substituting one soda per day with a sports drink or other sugary beverage. The sugar in this beverage will essentially do the same thing as regular soda.
- Include a Balanced Diet and Get Your Child Caries Vaccinated
To prevent tooth decay, it is best to limit snacking between meals. It is also important to ensure that your child’s diet contains calcium-rich foods such as dairy products or beans. Calcium helps strengthen teeth. Talk to your child’s dentist if you notice that they are not getting enough calcium.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to get your child vaccinated against cavities. You can get your child’s cavities removed before a scheduled dental visit by visiting your local pediatric dentist. Alternatively, your child can come to the dentist’s office or clinic clearly showing a cavity. Your child can be given a vaccination against the cavity at the same time they receive the vaccine for hepatitis B.
- Don’t Switch Toothbrushes and Choose Your Child’s Toothpaste Carefully
Toothbrushes can be contaminated with germs and bacteria if not cleaned properly. Use a toothbrush for a full four months before replacing it with a new one. When you replace your toothbrush, throw out the old ones to prevent the spread of germs.
Make sure that your child uses toothpaste that is age-appropriate. It may be difficult for older children to use a children’s toothpaste due to taste or texture. However, younger children should use whitening toothpaste for safety reasons. Whitening toothpaste contains more abrasives than regular toothpaste and may cause enamel erosion if used too often. To avoid staining, whitening toothpaste also contains less fluoride than regular toothpaste.
Tooth decay is common among children and adolescents. However, by following these tips, parents can take the necessary precautions to ensure that their child will have a cavity-free mouth. If your child has already developed a dental cavity, seek the help of your pediatric dentist immediately to prevent further problems.