Cavities are the main problem that pediatric dentists need to address in kids. They cause various kinds of discomfort, pain, and tooth problems. For this reason, it’s crucial for every parent to know how to prevent cavities before they start treatment with pediatric dentistry in Lowell.
What are Cavities?
Cavities are tiny holes or openings in the enamel of a tooth that can lead to decay if left untreated. They form when bacteria attack and weaken the enamel, which is the hard surface of a tooth. If the damage is not treated in time, it can lead to more serious oral health issues.
These issues include pain, tooth sensitivity, and eventually, the early and unnecessary loss of a tooth. While kids eventually lose their baby teeth, cavities can still complicate how their adult teeth come in.
The good news is that cavities can be prevented with proper dental care. Below are useful ways on how to prevent cavities in pediatric patients.
How to Prevent Cavities in Kids
#1 – Proper and regular brushing and flossing
Proper brushing and flossing are essential to preventing cavities in kids. Brushing should be done twice a day for at least two minutes with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing should be done at least once a day to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria between teeth and below the gums.
Brushing and Flossing Tips and Techniques
- Make sure they are brushing for a minimum of 2 minutes each time.
- Help them brush their back teeth and hard-to-reach areas.
- Use short, sweeping strokes for the chewing surfaces.
- Use circular strokes on the inner surfaces of teeth.
- Floss between each tooth with gentle up and down strokes.
- Use about 18 inches of floss, winding it around both index fingers.
- Use clean floss for each set of teeth.
- Change toothbrushes 3-4 times a year.
#2 – Eating a Balanced Diet
Encourage your child to eat nutritious foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar, like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Cutting down on sugary snacks as well as limiting how often they are consumed can greatly reduce their risk of cavities.
For snacks and meals with starches or sugary foods, remember that sticky foods like candy tend to adhere longer to tooth surfaces than other types of snacks. So, if your child must have a sugary snack, make sure they brush their teeth afterward.
#3 – Lessen Sugary Foods and Drinks Intake
Sugary foods and drinks, like soda and candy, are known to cause cavities. So try to limit how often your child has these treats. If they do consume sugary foods, make sure they brush their teeth right afterward.
Also, don’t forget to monitor how much juice your child is drinking. Drinking too much juice can increase their risk of developing cavities because it has high sugar content and sticks to the teeth for a longer period than other drinks.
#4 – Keep Them Well-Hydrated
Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help keep their mouth hydrated and wash away food particles and bacteria. Plus, if your tap water is fluoridated, it can provide an extra level of protection against cavities. Fluoride helps fight cavities by making tooth enamel more resistant to acids.
#5 – Get Fluoride Treatment for Your Child
A fluoride treatment is a preventive measure applied by a dentist to help protect the teeth and make the enamel stronger. This may come in the form of gels, varnishes, foams, and liquids. Getting fluoride treatments can be especially beneficial for children who are more at risk of developing cavities because of the presence of certain medical conditions.
Ask your child’s dentist how often they recommend getting fluoride treatments.
#6 – Consider Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that can be applied to the surface of teeth. They help create a barrier between the tooth enamel and bacteria. This barrier helps protect the teeth from cavities, plaque build-up, and other forms of damage caused by acids in food and drinks.
Dental sealants are most often applied to molars since these teeth have deep grooves that can be difficult to clean thoroughly. Your child’s dentist can tell you how to get dental sealants for your child.
#7 – Bring Your Kids to their Regular Dentist Visits
Regular dental visits are essential for preventing cavities. During these check-ups, your child’s dentist will check for any signs of tooth decay and cavities. They may also suggest ways to improve your child’s oral health or provide fluoride treatments or sealants if needed.
Additionally, going to regular dental appointments can help familiarize your child with the dentist and reduce any fears they may have. This will make it easier for them to go for their dental visits in the future.
Preventive Dental Procedures for Kids
Aside from fluoride treatments and dental sealants, your pediatric dentist can offer various dental procedures that help prevent or worsen cavities. Here is a list of preventive dental procedures that your pediatric dentist can provide to help keep your child’s teeth cavity-free:
- Cleanings and exams
- X-rays and imaging
- Dental fillings
- Baby root canal
- Nutritional counseling
- Orthodontic treatments
Get the Best Cavities Prevention from a Trusted Kids’ Dentist in Lowell & Methuen, MA
If you want to receive the best kids’ dental services in Lowell & Methuen, MA, you can trust Dr. Mona Beylin and her team at Kangaroo Smiles Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. At our practice, we strive to deliver high-quality, comprehensive dental care for your child.
Dr. Mona aims to create a safe, happy, and caring environment for children to receive dental care that will have a lasting impact on that child’s future. When it comes to preventing cavities in children, you can trust the experts at Kangaroo Smiles Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics.
We offer all types of pediatric dentistry services, from preventive care to restorative treatments as well as sedation and anesthesia. We also provide orthodontic assessment and treatment for kids such as metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign.
At Kangaroo Smiles, we believe in giving your child the best possible dental care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mona! Let’s work together to prevent cavities in your child’s teeth and ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles!