A person’s mouth is naturally protected by saliva which has minerals that help prevent cavities, the continuous flow of saliva also helps to keep teeth clean. This is also true for children. When your child consumes a lot of starches or sugars, however, they combine with the bacteria in your mouth and create acids that cause the tooth enamel to disintegrate. Over time, a weak spot is developed and this forms a cavity. Parents should talk to their children about the importance of regular dental care, if not, your child may need to undergo some serious dental procedures in the future. In order to keep your child’s oral health in good condition, parents should understand the recommended ways to prevent dental cavities in children.
There are easy things you can do to help your child stay cavity-free and keep their teeth healthy. Here are the top five ways to prevent cavities in children.
1. Get Your Child in the Habit of Routine Dental Care
Parents should explain to their children the importance of regular dental hygiene: brushing at least twice a day and once-daily flossing. Letting your child choose their toothbrush, toothpaste, and flossing picks will help them be more enthusiastic about dental care.
2. Be Sure to schedule your child’s dental appointments
Schedule dental appointments with a pediatric dental office so that your child feels welcome and comfortable at their dental visit. Early preventive care appointments will help prevent dental decay and get your child to understand the importance of dental care. Be sure to schedule your child’s first dental appointment by their first birthday. Also, make sure to schedule appointments for a routine checkup every six months.
3. Limit Sugar Intake in Your Child’s Diet
Bacteria feed on sugar and forms acid waste, which causes tooth erosion and leads to the formation of a cavity—so a useful part of keeping your child’s teeth healthy is to reduce their consumption of sugary foods and beverages. Avoid sugary and starchy foods. Eating these foods adds to the amount of acid-eroding plaque on their teeth. If your child consumes a lot of these sugary or starchy foods and sweets, switch these foods for healthier ones, like fruits and vegetables. You can even get your child in the habit of brushing after meals and snacks when possible.
4. Teach Your Child to Eat Healthy Snacks and Drink Water
Introduce your child to more crisp, water-dense fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables that are high in water content help hydrate your child’s mouth. Crisp fruits and vegetables increase the production of saliva, stopping bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Drinking plenty of water every day, throughout the day, is an easy habit for preventing dental cavities in both children and adults. In general, water will flush bacteria from the mouth and prevent acid from building up on the teeth. Fluoride is proven to fight cavities, and fluoridated tap water and toothpaste also increase protection for your child’s teeth.
5. Encourage Flossing
Once enough teeth have erupted in your child’s mouth for them to touch each other, you should begin flossing them. Older kids can floss their own teeth, but you may need to supervise them to be sure it’s done efficiently. Ideally, your child should brush their teeth after every meal and before bedtime, but most parents will focus on having their children brush twice daily, and floss once a day.
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