Although you may be relieved when your child’s teeth are finished growing in, this developmental step indicates a shift in how to care for your child’s teeth. Children are uniquely susceptible to developing cavities, as many children are still forming enamel. Likewise, many children prefer certain foods that contribute to the buildup of dental plaque.
Kids, in particular, are drawn to sugary and starchy foods, which can be problematic unless you take active measures to prevent cavity formation. Popular foods choices like milk, bread, and cookies cause bacteria in the mouth to release acids, which weakens enamel. Children who are exposed to these types of food multiple times throughout the day are more susceptible to developing tooth decay and cavities. Fortunately, there are many strategies you can take to combat cavities in kids and promote a healthy smile.
3 Strategies That Prevent Cavities In Kids
White spots are an early sign of tooth decay—they indicate that the minerals necessary for strong enamel have been lost due to acid exposure. Fortunately, enamel can repair itself using minerals present in saliva. As a parent, you can take additional measures to prevent cavities in kids, such as:
- Treating with fluoride. Fluoride help prevents mineral loss and even replaces lost minerals, and can also reduce the bacteria’s ability to produce acid. If your water supply is not already fluoridated, you can start using kid-friendly toothpaste with fluoride or even a fluoride rinse.
- Ensuring proper brushing. Even if you’re already using a fluoride-based toothpaste, you’ll want to make sure that your child brushes at least two times a day. If your child is between ages 2 and 6, you should apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and help your child brush. Encourage spitting out toothpaste rather than swallowing.
- Practicing healthy eating habits. While it’s common knowledge that sugary foods contribute a child’s cavities, even healthy foods like citrus and raisins can contribute to cavity-causing bacteria. In addition to limiting sugary treats, fruit juice, and food after brushing, it can be helpful to limit snacking between meals, as this reduces the number of acid attacks on teeth and allows teeth to repair themselves.
Beyond home care, one of the best ways to prevent cavities in children is to consult with your dentist. At Kangaroo Smiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we offer comprehensive care in an accessible, kid-friendly environment.
For cavity prevention, in particular, we offer dental sealants. As thin, plastic-like coatings that cover the molars, sealants prevent food and bacteria from getting stuck in the pits and grooves of back teeth. We can also apply a fluoride gel, remove dental plaque, and check of early areas of tooth decay.
To find out more or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (978) 425-1496.