Did you know that 13% of untreated cavities are found in children and young adults, ages 2-19? Cavities are also the most common chronic illness found in children and young adults between the ages of 6 to 19.
While cavities are pretty common and can be simple to resolve, they’re still a serious issue. They can cause discomfort and pain and become a more severe infection if left untreated.
Prevention is the best approach you can take toward taking care of your child’s oral health. Keep reading to learn the best ways to avoid cavities.
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
One of the best ways to maintain healthy teeth is to practice good oral hygiene. Teaching your children good practices from an early age will help them realize the importance of good oral hygiene and they’ll learn to carry these practices into adulthood. This will help them prevent more serious issues when they’re older.
It’s crucial that your children brush their teeth twice a day. Set up a routine for them so they’ll know exactly what time they should be brushing their teeth each day. Make it fun, create a dance or song to go along with brushing time and this will get them excited to brush their teeth each day.
Don’t forget about the importance of flossing! Flossing is necessary because a toothbrush can’t reach every area of your mouth to truly clean out all the bacteria-causing food. Good oral hygiene is key to preventing cavities.
2. You Need to Use Fluoride
Using a toothpaste with fluoride is an important way to avoid tooth decay. The reason fluoride matters is because it helps protect your teeth’s enamel. Enamel is basically a barrier around your teeth that protects them from decay.
Bacteria from foods begin to erode your enamel over time. You can, however, protect your enamel with a fluoride toothpaste.
By using a toothpaste that protects your teeth’s enamel you’re also protecting yourself from developing cavities. So make sure you’re buying a fluoride toothpaste for your child’s daily routine.
3. Visit Your Dentist
Establishing a relationship with a great dentist is crucial to preventing cavities and other dental issues. As soon as your child begins growing their first tooth, you should consider taking them to the dentist. After this, they should start going in for a regular check-up at least twice a year.
Making these routine appointments with your dentist will help them find any issues early on. The deep cleanings your dentist performs will help prevent your children from developing cavities. Regular dental visits are incredibly important for your child, make sure you’re making them a priority.
4. Prevention With Sealants
Another great preventative measure for avoiding cavities is to speak to your child’s dentist about possibly getting sealants. Sealants are like a coat that covers the grooves of the back teeth.
The sealants will protect the teeth from the buildup of bacteria or plaque, they’ll seal the spaces where bacteria are more prone to grow. This will help prevent cavities in your child’s teeth.
5. Foods to Avoid
Eating too much sugar will increase the likelihood of cavities, so it’s important to decrease the number of sweets your child consumes. Sugary and acidic drinks, like soda, are also incredibly harmful to your child’s teeth. These are some of the substances that break down the teeth’s enamel, cutting these drinks out of your child’s life is important to their oral health.
Candies and foods that get easily stuck in the teeth should also be avoided or at the very least reduced to the rare, special occasion in your child’s life. These foods are hard to remove from the teeth, even after brushing and flossing, and can lead to cavities and decay.
6. Eat Nutritious and Balanced Meals
The most natural way to avoid cavities is by feeding your child a healthy and well-balanced diet. A good diet is crucial for a growing child and important for their oral health as well. Nutritious foods can help develop stronger and healthier teeth that are less likely to develop cavities.
A healthy diet should include a lot of fruits and vegetables. Try adding cheese and nuts to your child’s meals, or give them some as a snack, because these foods are great at preventing the decay that more acidic foods may cause.
7. Keep Hydrated
Drinking water is great for your general health and great for your teeth as well. Water helps flush out toxins from the body and it can also flush out the bacteria that’s been building up in the mouth too, this will help prevent cavities.
The fluoride found in tap water is also great to drink as it helps protect your child’s teeth from decay.
8. No Sharing of Food
While most parents want to teach their children the valuable lesson of sharing what they have with others, this shouldn’t apply to the food they eat. Kids love to share everything with their friends, especially their snacks and drinks at lunchtime.
It’s important to teach children that doing so can spread germs and bacteria that can affect their oral health and this shouldn’t be a practice they partake in.
9. Mouthwash Can Help
Another great way to keep clean teeth and prevent cavities is to get your kids into the habit of using mouthwash. Mouthwash after brushing and flossing can help remove any excess bacteria, reducing plaque and preventing cavities from developing in your child’s teeth.
10. Bubble Gum Works Too
Kids love chewing on gum and while you might think this is bad for their teeth, it can actually help prevent cavities. Chewing on sugar-free gum will increase the production of saliva, which keeps your mouth hydrated and therefore less likely to develop cavities.
Now You Know the Best Ways to Prevent Cavities
Kids can be incredibly picky and preventing cavities can prove to be difficult but if you follow these steps you’re sure to avoid cavities and keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong.
Contact us with any additional questions you may have or to set up an appointment in our office.