Many children begin to learn oral health care at an early age but still struggle to keep their teeth clean. Plaque can often lead to tooth decay and will require the cavities to be filled. If you want to prevent cavities in your children's teeth, there are a few essential steps to take.
Educate Your Child
Teaching your child about how to care for their teeth will allow them to understand the importance of brushing and flossing each day. Practice brushing with your child and showing them how to use their toothbrush. Consider purchasing a colorful toothbrush that they're excited about using to ensure that they feel motivated to clean their teeth. Discuss what can occur if they don't brush their teeth and how they'll need to make more trips to the dentist if they begin to get cavities.
Brush with Fluoride Toothpaste
Make it a point to have your child use fluoride toothpaste when brushing, which reduces the risk of tooth decay by strengthening the teeth. Fluoride helps the teeth to resist acid due to plaque, sugar, and bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride can also reverse tooth decay that is already present and will restore the density of the teeth.
Limit Sugar Intake
One of the most effective ways to prevent cavities is to limit the amount of sugar in their diet. Sugar is found in most food items, which can make it easy for cavities to form over time. Check the ingredients in snacks and foods that your children eat each day and avoid providing them packaged items. Stick to vegetables and lean meats while limiting the amount of fruit that is consumed.
If your kids eat desserts or a sugary treat, they should brush their teeth several minutes after consuming the food to prevent the sugar from sitting on their teeth.
Avoid Snacking In between Meals
It can be easy for cavities to form if children are snacking too frequently throughout the day. Make it a point to have them eat three meals each day without overeating in between the meals, which can cause the food particles to have too much contact with the teeth.
Visit a Dentist Regularly
Taking your child to the dentist every six months for routine checkups will allow them to receive cleanings on a routine basis. A professional cleaning will remove plaque buildup on their teeth and will reduce the risk of decay. Dental professionals will also be able to identify signs of decay early on before the problem becomes more severe.
Scheduling appointments will also allow your children to have x-rays taken of their teeth to determine if signs of decay have gone undetected.
Sealants are incredibly useful in preventing cavities and work as a barrier to protect the teeth. The tooth sealant is a plastic coating that bonds to the grooves of the teeth and blocks plaque or food particles from affecting the teeth. Most sealants last an average of 10 years before they need to be replaced.