How to Prevent Cavities in Your Child
No parent wants to see their child with cavities but even with the best attempts, it can still occur. The good news is that with good oral care and working with your dentist you can significantly reduce, and even eliminate tooth decay all together.
What Causes Cavities
There are three main reasons for cavities to form:
- Bacteria in plaque
- Food and beverages that are consumed
- The child’s current oral health state and their oral hygiene routine
Every time you eat, acid attacks the teeth and your body runs its own counterattack mission by rinsing the acid away with saliva, which neutralizes the acid. Saliva also contains minerals that help to remineralize the teeth and rebuild the teeth. This is an ongoing process where the teeth are attacked by the acidis produced by bacteria, and then rebuilt with the minerals in your saliva. By understanding the cause of cavities, you can prevent them forming.
How to Help Prevent Cavities
- Food and Drink – Babies and toddlers should only have water in their bedtime bottle. Sugary foods, sticky foods, and sweetened drinks should be avoided, especially between meals. Sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth which then produce more acid that damages teeth.
- Brush Twice a Day , and don’t forget to Floss! – Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day and flosses once a day. This will remove the bacteria responsible for cavities. Don’t just give your child a toothbrush and leave them on their own. Teach them how to brush properly. Don’t wait for that first tooth. Begin to brush the gums of your baby from early on. Healthy gums lead to healthy teeth.
- Sealants – Your child’s dentist may use sealants to protect some teeth. The sealant provides a barrier that protects the tooth from acids and plaque.
- Fluoride Toothpaste – Research has shown that one of the easiest ways to stop mineral loss from the teeth is by using toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Visit your Dental Professionals regularly – Trips to your dentist will help ensure you are doing everything possible to help prevent decay. They can tailor a plan to suit the needs of your mouth. In some instances, your dentist may recommend fluoride supplements to protect the teeth, or perhaps a change to your child’s diet or cleaning regime to better prevent future dental problems.
Teaching your child good oral hygiene early in life, will set them up for a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth. The earlier you start oral care the better.