Cavities develop when you let sugar-containing foods stay in your mouth for a long time without cleaning. The bits of food that’s left in the mouth make for excellent fodder material for bacteria that live on the teeth. This allows them to grow and eat away at the tooth enamel, which may eventually cause cavities, which are holes that will only grow bigger and deeper over time.
Cavities can happen to anyone, children included. In fact, children are much more susceptible to cavities than adults are. This is likely because children do not know how to take proper care of their teeth just yet, and are more likely to munch on sugar-filled snacks regularly.
As a parent, you are your child’s first line of defense against cavities and it’s important that you inform yourself about what it takes to prevent cavities in children.
Proper Oral Hygiene Habits
For infants, you can use a clean washcloth or a wet gauze to wipe away plaque from their teeth and gums. Alternatively, you can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Do this as often as two to three times a day. Also, avoid letting your child go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice at hand.
For older children, encourage them to brush their teeth two to three times a day. Make sure to limit the amount of sugary snacks they eat everyday as well.
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to implement it, which as you may have experienced already, is not exactly all that easy. Though, don’t worry, as children will eventually give in and let you clean their teeth without making much of a fuss.
A good idea would be to make brushing and flossing a family affair, an idea that your child will surely love. Using toothbrushes or toothpastes with character designs may also help.
Regular Visits To The Dentist
Many dental professionals recommended that children be taken to the dentist for the first time by the time they’re one or two years old. From there, you can ask the pediatric dentist how often you should start taking your child for checkups and cleanings. Though, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to take your child to the pediatric dentist every six months.
Dental Sealants and Fluoride
Parents may also choose to have dental sealants applied to their children’s back teeth to help seal the grooves and depressions in the said area. Such areas are extremely difficult to clean and are prone to bacteria and food particle buildup. Sealing them up can help prevent such buildup, which in turn may help prevent cavities.
Dentists may also provide prescription strength fluoride for children to strengthen their teeth and prevent cavities.
Make sure that you monitor your child’s oral health and that you encourage them to follow a proper oral care routine. Ideally, the routine should include brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash and visiting the dentist regularly. If you do this, you not only make sure that your child’s teeth are well protected from cavities, but you also make sure that they develop the correct oral health habits that they will carry with them well into their adulthood.
If you would like to schedule a routine checkup or professional cleaning for your child, contact Dr. James Yankowskas at DDS with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule a appointment today or visit ww.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information regarding cavity prevention for children.