Did you know 42% of children in the age group of 2 to 11 years have cavities in their baby teeth? Alarming, isn’t it? The main cause of cavities in children could be attributed to their poor oral health hygiene and bad food choices.
When to see a pediatric dentist
Cavities in children can be extremely painful. Large cavities may show some signs and symptoms that can be easily spotted in children. But, there are some cavities in their nascent stages that may show no signs and symptoms.
You may not be aware of the cavity that’s lurking in your child’s mouth in between the spaces of the teeth. That’s why it’s important to visit the pediatric dentist regularly, even when everything in your child’s mouth seems fine.
However, if your child experiences a mouth pain or toothache, you have to see your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. That said, adopting healthy kids dental care regime goes a long way in preventing cavities in children.
How can you prevent your child from getting cavities?
- Brush using fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is known to significantly reduce cavities in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste (about a grain size) for children below 3 years of age and a pea-sized amount for children between 3 to 6 years of age.
Note: It’s important to teach your child to spit the fluoride toothpaste out and not to swallow it.
- Inculcate good brushing techniques
Follow these proper brushing techniques to prevent cavities in children:
- Brush twice a day after meals with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Brush for at least two minutes per session
- Brush in tiny circles on teeth and gums
- Brush the tongue
- Focus on the teeth at the back while brushing because these are the ones that are at a high risk for cavity formation
- Floss teeth once daily
- Change the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
Most parents find it difficult to get their child to brush willingly. If you are facing the same problem, here’s an infographic from Drs. Heidary and Ghoreshi Dental Group that gives you tips on how to make your child’s brushing activity fun.
- Visit your pediatric dentist regularly
Regular pediatric dental visits are a key factor in preventing cavities in children. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental visit as soon as your baby’s first tooth is visible or before the child turns one and every six months thereafter. During pediatric dental visits, your pediatric dentist will examine your child’s teeth, and if required will take X-rays or get necessary treatments done.
- Adopt healthy food habits
If you want your child to stay free from cavities, you have to encourage good eating habits. Here are some food habits you can adopt:
- Consume a lot of crisp, water-dense vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables have a high water content that will keep your child’s mouth hydrated. The crispiness of the fruits and vegetables increases saliva production that inhibits bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
- Avoid consumption of too many sugary foods like sweets, candies, sugary drinks, and starchy foods.
- Limit the juice intake. The AAP recommends drinking 4 to 6 ounces per day for kids between 1 to 6 years of age and 8 to 12 ounces daily for children aged 7 to 18 years.
- Treat cavities right away
If your child develops a cavity, it’s important that you get it treated immediately. If it’s left untreated it may lead to childhood periodontitis. The pediatric dentist may remove the decayed part of the tooth and replace it with a dental filling.
It may not be possible to always be successful in keeping your child away from cavities. But, it is imperative that you adopt good oral hygiene and get regular pediatric dental checkups done to reduce your child’s risk for cavities.
Is your child due for a pediatric dental checkup? Call Dr. Long, your kids’ dentist in Fresno today!
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