Ways to Prevent Cavities in Children
Cavities are no fun to experience at any age, but they can be especially difficult for children.
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. This includes their oral health! While you may think that cavities are inevitable, there are actually quite a few things that you and your child can do to help prevent them.
Cavities are mostly caused by saliva that carries harmful bacteria coming into contact with a tooth and causing it to decay. Foods and drinks that contain lots of sugars and starches are known to contribute to cavities, especially in children. Here are some tips for keeping your child’s smile healthy and bright without any cavities.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Just as you would with your primary care physician, it is important to schedule regular checkups with your child’s dentist once or twice a year. This gives the dentist a chance to catch any potential problems early on and work to solve them so you can avoid having to deal with costly surgeries or procedures down the road.
During these regular visits, your child’s dentist will check their teeth for any cavities. Sometimes they will even be able to fill them on the same visit. Luckily, the process of filling a cavity is quick and easy. Typically the dentist will use a numbing agent to prevent any discomfort during the filling.
Help Your Child Brush and Floss Correctly
One of the most reliable ways to prevent cavities is by brushing and flossing regularly. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste, and brush for two minutes at least twice per day. While you don’t need to floss after every meal, you should still floss once a day for optimal oral health.
If you have a young child, you should show them how to correctly brush and floss with good technique so that they build these healthy habits growing up. Getting your child in the routine of brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day, their oral health will benefit tremendously and they are far less likely to encounter issues such as cavities later on in life.
Limit Sugary Snacks and Drinks
There are a number of different factors that can cause cavities, but the number one culprit, especially in children, is excessive intake of sugars and starches. Eating sugary snacks such as candy, gummies or even certain cereals can negatively impact your child’s oral health. Frequently sipping on sugary drinks like soda or juice can also cause oral decay and potentially lead to cavities.
It’s best for your child to stick to healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables and to make sure that you limit their intake of sweets and sugary drinks. Keeping a healthy diet free of excessive sugars and starches is a great way to promote not only oral health but general health as well for your child.
Encourage Your Child to Drink Plenty of Water
Although it can oftentimes be a challenge to make young children drink enough water, it is extremely important for their oral health and prevention of cavities.
As previously mentioned, sugary drinks like juice and soda are extremely detrimental to your child’s oral health. Water is not only a healthy alternative to these drinks, but it also helps to rinse away cavity-causing bacteria and protect your child’s teeth from cavities or damage down the road. Most children do not consume enough water on their own, so it is important to monitor their water intake and be sure that they are drinking enough.
Know Your Family’s History of Cavities
Although it can differ from person to person, it has been found that some people may have genetic dispositions to getting cavities depending on their family member’s history of getting them. If cavities run in your family, you may need to take extra steps to prevent them in your child. Speak to your dentist about if there are any additional steps to take in order to prevent your child from getting cavities.
Get Pediatric Dentistry in the New York Capital Region
You only want what’s best for your child, and that means setting them up with the experts who can best protect their oral health. At Where Smiles Grow, we’re exclusively committed to serving pediatric patients from three convenient locations around the New York Capital Region.
To help keep your child’s smile healthy, bright, and free of cavities, schedule an appointment with us today.