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Top Ways to Prevent Cavities in Children

September 1, 2022

There’s nothing worse than subjecting your kids to the dentist’s drill because you didn’t make them follow simple oral hygiene habits. Sure, children hate flossing like adults too. Still, if people are successful in instilling good behavior early on in life, the practices offer them a healthy mouth that will keep them smiling indefinitely.

Some parents ignore the health of their child’s teeth because they assume the baby’s teeth will go away. But protecting your kid’s teeth is as simple as following a few recommendations from our dentist in Charm Dental in Katy, TX.

What Causes Cavities?

Many factors lead to tooth decay or cavities. However, bacteria play a large role; we all have bacteria in our mouths. If colonies of bacteria are unchecked, they begin to form plaque, a sticky film compromised by millions of bacteria.

When you don’t brush or don’t do it correctly, plaque will begin to coat the teeth more and more. When you leave the bacteria unchecked for long, they produce acids that erode the enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard-outer part of your teeth. When the acids penetrate the enamel, they start causing a cavity, a small hole in the tooth.

Once there’s a tiny hole in your tooth, the bacteria reach deeper into your tooth. The deeper the bacteria get into the tooth, the easier it erodes the tooth’s structure. Once the dentin is affected, your tooth’s pathways are exposed. That’s how cavities result in a toothache.

But some recommendations or habits help decrease the chances of cavities. They include:

Have Your Kids Drink Water Throughout the Day

Water helps wash away food particles that remain on the teeth. It also keeps the mouth moist and balances the pH. Ensure you avoid sugary drinks like sports drinks, juices, and soda. Juices like orange juice are acidic and contain a lot of sugars. A combination of acid and sugars feeds the bad bacteria in the kid’s mouth.

Choose Non-Starchy, Non-Sticky Snacks

Sugar and starchy snacks get all bad press for causing cavities. Pretzels are examples of starchy snacks. Starchy foods remain gummy and sticky on your teeth for hours. The gummy or sticky paste feeds the bacteria. You should avoid sticky foods that stick around for long, especially when your kid cannot brush for a while.

You should choose melty snacks instead. For example, yogurt dissolves and melts easily with saliva and water. Likewise, nuts, cheese, and apple slices are less likely to cling to your teeth and feed bacteria.

Brush your Kid’s Teeth Once Their First Tooth is Out

Our pediatric dentistry in Katy, TX, recommends that it’s important to start brushing your kid’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears. For infants and babies, a teething toothbrush or a washcloth may be used as this method is more readily accepted by the kids.

It isn’t necessary to use fluoride at infant age, and toothpaste made for babies and young children that don’t contain fluoride is the best as they’ll like the taste and want to suck on the brush or swallow the paste.

Kids between 3-6 years and those able to spit out toothpaste can use toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Use Cautions When Sharing Eating Utensils with Your Kids

The bacteria in your child’s mouth is not the same as in your mouth. For example, dental caries is infectious, meaning that cavity-producing bacteria can be passed from the parent’s mouth to the child’s mouth. This’s true with pacifiers too. When you put a pacifier in your mouth and clean it, you’ll leave some of your oral bacteria on it. As a result, if there’s a history of cavities, you should use caution in such situations.

Ensure you floss and brush regularly and reduce the chances of sharing utensils with your kids.

Show Your Children the Right Way to Use a Floss Stick

It can be easier for kids to use a floss stick than string floss. To use it properly, your kids must wiggle the floss stick string between the teeth. You should supervise them first and gently use the floss to avoid gum irritation. And if they irritate the gums, visit a family dentist near you for treatment.

Take Your Children to the Dentist Twice a Year for Professional Exams and Cleaning

Professional cleanings help remove tartar. In addition, the dentist in 77449 applies fluoride treatments to strengthen your kid’s teeth as they grow.

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