For parents, the best way to prevent cavities in your children is to encourage them to practice good oral hygiene at home. It’s important that you also set a good example as well.
For infants, make sure that you wipe and clean their teeth after each feeding using a clean washcloth or a wet soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, avoid letting your child go to bed with a bottle, as this increases your child’s risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
For older children, make sure that you encourage them to brush their teeth two or more times in a day. You should also monitor their daily diet and more importantly, limit their sugar intake.
Avoid letting your child do any one of these cavity-causing things as well:
- Eating or drinking anything except for water before going to sleep.
- Going to bed with a bottle of juice or milk.
- Frequent snacking and shipping of sugar-filled treats, beverages and food items. Of course, water is okay.
- Snacking on candy and other sweet treats every day.
- Forgetting to brush teeth before going to sleep.
Instead, encourage them to do the following:
- Brush at least twice a day. Try looking for a toothbrush and/or toothpaste with their favorite cartoon character so that they look forward to brushing their teeth. Also, make sure that they brush their teeth thoroughly before going to sleep.
- Encourage your child to floss daily, especially before going to sleep. If you don’t know how to floss, ask your child’s dentist to demonstrate the proper technique.
- Try to make brushing an enjoyable experience by brushing with your children. Also, try your best to set a good example by brushing your teeth as often as you’d like your children to.
Fluoride Treatments and Dental Sealants
Although not necessary, dental sealants and fluoride treatments can greatly reduce the chances of cavities developing in children.
Both treatments are usually available at your child’s pediatric dentist.
With fluoride treatments, dentists apply prescription strength fluoride directly to the child’s teeth. This helps strengthen their teeth and prevent tooth decay. However, the dentist will have to evaluate your child’s teeth first and check to see at how much of a risk your child is for developing cavities to determine just how much fluoride is necessary and how often.
On the other hand, dental sealants are thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surface of the teeth. Though, it is usually applied to the premolars and molars, or the back teeth, as they are the areas that are more prone to cavities. These will last for several years and are quite effective in preventing cavities in children.
Visiting The Dentist Frequently
Of course, nothing beats taking your child to a dentist regularly for a routine checkup and cleaning. Also, by taking your child early to the dentist, you allow the dentist to monitor the growth of your child’s teeth closely, which increases the chances of dental problems being prevented or being detected, as well as treated, early.
If possible, take your child to a pediatric dentist as they have undergone the additional training and education to make sure that they’re able to provide children the best dental care possible.
If you would like to be sure that your child has oral health, contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment today or use our book online tool!