Does your little one love mouth-watering cookies with an ice-cold glass of milk? Tasty goldfish and chips? What about drinking a delicious sippy cup of apple juice with their meals? We understand most children love these sugar-rich foods and snacks, so we are here to educate you on what causes children’s tooth decay and how to defend against cavities before they begin!
So, what exactly is a cavity?
Cavities are holes in the tooth (decay) caused by bacteria in the mouth. Frequent snacking, sipping and poor oral hygiene are common causes of cavities. Tooth decay is one of the most diagnosed dental issues and is especially common in children and teenagers, causing discomfort when eating or drinking something sweet, and sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. In most cases, brown, black or white staining appears on the surface of the tooth. Most cavities require fillings. So, let us address the real question parents are asking: how do I help prevent decay in my child’s mouth and promote excellent oral hygiene?
Defend Against Decay
There are several ways you can team up with your child and help promote a healthier smile so they can remain cavity free.
- Avoid constant snacking and sipping. It is especially important to avoid sugary snack foods like ice cream, sodas, hard candies, dry cereal and even chips. These foods stick to the teeth and feed bacteria that can cause decay. Replace these snacks with tooth-healthy foods like apples, nuts, or vegetables and tap water.
- Avoid bedtime bottle feeding. We get it, you are tired, and your infant won’t stop crying! However, we encourage you to abstain from filling your infant’s bedtime bottle with formula, milk or any other sugar-containing liquid. When these liquids sit on the teeth overnight, it breeds bacteria, causing decay. If you feel you must send your child to bed with a bottle, fill it with water.
- Brush twice and floss once daily. If your child is old enough to brush their teeth properly on their own, it doesn’t hurt to create a system that holds them accountable to take adequate care of their teeth, brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene is the number one method to prevent tooth decay and promote good oral health. For younger children, we recommend mommy or daddy help brush properly and floss between any teeth that touch. It can also be tons of fun to brush and floss with your kiddo and show them how to become a rock-star brusher!
- Make sure your child is getting enough fluoride. We agree with the AAPD; by the time your little one gets their first tooth, you should begin brushing with a fluoride toothpaste. Tap water is another excellent source of fluoride. Fluoride prevents and even reverses the early stages of tooth decay.
- Apply dental sealants. The most commonly diagnosed cavities occur in the deep grooves and pits of molars and premolars. Dental sealants can be applied to the biting surface of the teeth to smooth their surface, make them easier to clean and prevent foods from collecting in the grooves of molars and premolars.
- Have your child’s teeth cleaned every six months. These regular dental visits help your child to identify areas of oral hygiene that need work through one-on-one coaching and education. Decay-causing calculus, plaque and hard stain are removed, helping your child stay cavity free!
Contact our office today!
We are confident through these preventative measures your child will achieve a healthy smile and defend against tooth decay. It is an honor to partner with you in caring for your child, as well as promoting overall health and wellness through education and self-discovery. Contact our office today to schedule a regular cleaning and exam. We can’t wait for you to experience the myKIDSdds difference!
Healthy Smile, Healthy Child
Of course, a beautiful smile begins with a healthy smile. Our team will help your child achieve good oral hygiene through regular cleanings and one on one education. Your little one will receive an oral hygiene score and coaching each time they visit us for a cleaning, cultivating a sense of responsibility and accomplishment while also building their confidence each time they improve their score. Don’t forget, a clean mouth promotes total body health and wellness too! This is why our doctors will screen for airway issues, talk about nutrition, eating habits, and much more. We want our patients to be empowered in the knowledge we provide to them on the health of their facial complex and how it relates to their overall systemic health. We are excited to partner with you throughout your child’s pediatric dental journey into orthodontics, and beyond!
We Are Honored to Be Your Trusted Dental Home
Check out the whitening kit products we offer with a wear time of just 30-60 minutes a day and whiter teeth in only 5-10 days. What better way to complete your total teeth makeover than with a brighter, whiter smile! Schedule an appointment in our office by calling now! Our team is looking forward to working with you and your child to provide excellent, metamorphic results. Don’t delay, a customized beautiful smile awaits!