6 Ways to Prevent Cavities in Children
Tooth decay occurs when food containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are left on your teeth. Bacteria in the mouth changes the carbohydrates into acids. The combination of bacteria, food, acid, and saliva cause plaque to form that then sticks to your teeth. Over time, the acid then eats away at your tooth enamel, causing cavities to occur. Tooth decay can be very painful and affects our child’s health negatively.
We all know that brushing and flossing are the two most important daily habits that will keep your mouth healthy and cavity free, but there are also other precautions you can take to ensure you’re keeping the cavities away.
Brush Your Teeth At Least Twice a Day
Teach your children to brush their teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. You want to express to them the importance of brushing for two minutes long to be able to remove all the plaque and harmful bacteria.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Cavities like to hide between your teeth, so flossing everyday is super important! Sometimes flossing is the only way to reach the food particles that get stuck between teeth.
Eat Nutritious, Balanced Meals
Nutritious food such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have tons of vitamins and minerals that are good for your oral health. What our children eat and don’t eat affect how their teeth develop.
Ask for Dental Sealants
The AAPD recommends a way to help reduce tooth decay on our child’s permanent back molars is to get a sealant on them as soon as they erupt, usually between 6 and 12 years. The dental sealants are hard plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to create a protection barrier, reducing the risk of cavities.
Choose Products with Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is from the fibrous parts of plants and doesn’t break down like sugar does. It can help maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth and protects teeth from decay by preventing bacteria from sticking to your child’s teeth. Since the bacteria in the mouth that causes cavities is unable to digest xylitol, their growth is largely reduced.
Schedule Regular Cleanings & Exams
Getting your child into a routine of regularly visiting the dentist is important for their oral health. Those visits can help find any potential problems early on and help kids get used to seeing the dentist. Tooth decay can be prevented, and with the right care and healthy habits, your child has the potential to grow up to have healthy teeth and smiles. We recommend bringing your child every 6 months for a dental check-up. Schedule your appointment today by calling 610-489-5555.