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10 Tips for Preventing Dental Cavities in Children

Jul 2, 2014 - 07:07 AM EST |  Posted under: Dental Tips, General
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Nobody likes to deal with cavities. Tooth decay not only affects your health, but it is also painful to repair. The same is true for children. As a parent, if you don’t teach your children the importance of routine dental care, they could face some very uncomfortable dental procedures. To protect your child’s oral health, it is essential to understand the best ways to prevent dental cavities in children.

Use these ten recommendations from an expert family dentist:

1. Get your children to understand the importance of routine dental care: at least twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing

2. Be aware that oral bacteria can easily be spread through sharing food and beverages. To avoid swapping dangerous bacteria, teach your children not to share food and drink.

3. Make routine visits to the family dentist a priority. Your child should begin seeing the family dentist as soon as his or her first tooth emerges and continue twice a year for life.

4. Avoid sweets and starchy foods. Consumption of these foods increases the level of acid-eroding plaque in the mouth. If your child eats a lot of sugary or starchy foods, try to swap these foods for healthier items, like fruits and vegetables. Teach your child to brush after every meal and snack when possible.

5. Increase intake of crisp, water-dense fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables high in water help keep your child’s mouth hydrated. Crisp fruits and vegetables increase production of saliva, inhibiting bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

6. Avoid sugar, including and especially sugary beverages, like soda and juice drinks. This is not only good for your children’s teeth, but their total health as well.

7. Ask your family dentist about dental sealants. Dental sealants can offer your children years of added protection from cavities, sealing cracks and spaces between teeth where bacteria can easily build-up and cause damage.

8. Drinking plenty of water every day, throughout the day, is one of the most effortless habits for preventing dental cavities in children. In general, water can flush bacteria from the mouth and prevent acid from building up on the teeth. Fluoridated tap water can add another layer of protection, as fluoride is a proven cavity fighter.

9. Avoid sticky foods such as honey, caramel, or taffy. These can be difficult to remove from the teeth and contribute to acid formation and rapid tooth decay.

10. Add cheese and nuts to the diet. Both cheese and nuts are rich in acid-fighters and help to remineralize the teeth.

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