Cavities cause tooth decay and can affect people of all ages. They are caused by bacteria that eat away at the enamel or the protective outer layer of the tooth. Children are especially prone to developing cavities from what they eat. Good dental care should begin before the first baby tooth appears.
It is important to realize that just because you do not see them does not mean that they are not there. Teeth form during pregnancy, and it only takes time for them to emerge. There are things that you can do to prevent cavities in your children.
Teaching your child about daily brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to prevent cavities. It is not too early to start cleaning your baby’s teeth and gums. When your child’s teeth begin to come in, use a soft toothbrush to clean the baby teeth.
Teach your child how to brush his teeth when he is still a toddler. Children between the ages of three to six years should use a pea-sized toothpaste amount. You can start flossing your child’s teeth the moment they touch each other.
Cavities in children are usually a result of what they eat. Sugars in food and drinks are responsible for tooth decay. Unfortunately, the snacks that children love most are also the biggest culprits in the formation of cavities.
It is important to watch out for “baby bottle tooth decay” caused by extended contact with sugars in milk or formula. Do not put your baby to sleep with a bottle as it can contribute to decay. Preventing mouth bacteria will also involve cleaning the baby’s teeth before sleep or after feeding.
Fruit juice may be convenient as part of daily meals, but it is not always the best option. Most parents consider fruit juice an easy way to provide vitamins. However, unlike fruits, the juice does not contain fibers, which means that it is not as healthy. If you must buy juice for your kids, make sure that you buy 100 percent fruit drinks. Remember, most juices in the market are water, juice flavoring, and plenty of sugar.
Feeding your toddler or child with healthy or nutritious food will help prevent cavities. Some foods help reduce the risk of developing tooth decay. Feeding your children meals that include vegetables, whole grains, and fruit will help keep their mouths healthy. Yogurt, milk, and cheese are good for the teeth. The foods can help clear the mouth of harmful bacteria that cause plaque. Make sure your child rinses and brushes the teeth after meals.
Regular visits to the dentist will help ensure that your child’s teeth develop properly. The dentist can look for early signs of cavities. The dentist will also offer tips on how to help your child practice good oral hygiene.
The ADA recommends dental visits to begin before the child’s first birthday. For best results, take your child to a pediatric dentist. Children under eight years need supervision to make sure they are brushing correctly and are not swallowing toothpaste.
For more on preventing cavities in children, visit MAC Family Dentistry at our office in Mandeville, Louisiana. You can call (985) 238-3797 today to schedule an appointment.