Cavities can be a serious problem for children. Cavities, or dental caries, are a form of tooth decay caused by bacteria that reside in the mouth. Under the right conditions, this bacteria produces excessive acid that gradually erodes the enamel of the teeth. This decay will eventually form a hole in the tooth. These can cause pain and eventually lead to infection and tissue damage in other parts of the mouth. Preventing cavities from forming is usually one of the biggest ongoing dental challenges for children. Regular brushing habits, limiting eating certain types of foods, and making regular trips to the dentist can all have a positive effect in preventing cavities in kids. Here are few of the top cavity prevention tips.
Good Brushing Habits
For young children, it is important to initiate a brushing routine early. By the time the child reaches their first birthday, you should begin brushing with them. Conditioning your child to view brushing as a positive experience is important to maintaining an ongoing brushing routine as they get older. Be sure to have your child brush for a full two minutes. Using a timer can be a good idea when they are young. Preventing cavities through brushing is an effective way to clean the teeth of food matter and plaque and suppress the acids that erode enamel. Brushing, however, is only helpful if it is done properly and regularly. Twice daily brushings or after every meal is the best way to ensure that your child’s teeth are protected. Of course, brushing isn’t everything and should be complemented with dental checkups and reduction in consumption of certain foods.
Limit Sugary Foods
The quintessential cavity prevention method is reducing the intake of sugary and starchy foods and drinks. These items encourage the release of harmful acids in the mouth that erode enamel and lead to cavities. For children, limiting the consumption of sugary foods and drinks is important in preventing cavities. Even with good brushing habits, reducing consumption of sugary foods is important to reduce the risk of a range of dental problems. The bacteria in the mouth produces acids to break down starches and sugars. Over time, this acidification will erode the enamel and lead to tooth decay. While completely denying your child these types of foods is unproductive and unrealistic, instilling the importance of limiting consumption to protect teeth is important in encouraging positive oral health.
A big part of protecting your child’s teeth from cavities is through regular trips to the dentist. Fluoride treatments, if the water in your area lacks fluoride, are important for children’s teeth as they develop. Fluoride suppresses bacterial growth and stabilizes minerals that preserve enamel and keep teeth strong. Fluoride treatment has a history of drastically reducing dental decay and cavities in children and adults. Twice yearly dental appointments are important for encouraging dental health and preventing cavities. Making sure to fortify your child’s teeth with fluoride treatments and regular dental cleanings is one of the best ways to ensure proper dental health over time. In conjunction with good brushing and flossing habits and a healthy diet, your child may very well go cavity free for many years.