Oct 24, 2014 - 01:10 PM EST | Posted under: Pediatric Dentistry
Few things are more upsetting to parents than having to see their children undergo a series of potentially scary visits to the family dentist for fillings simply because proper oral hygiene practices were not put into place from the start. While kids are likely to put up at least some resistance to maintaining sound brushing and flossing routines, it is a parent’s job to ensure that they develop strong habits that will last a lifetime and keep their teeth healthy. Luckily, by following a few key pieces of advice, preventing dental cavities in children need not be so difficult after all.
It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating that children need to brush their teeth no less that two times daily and should also be flossing at least once per day. They also need to make regular visits to their family dentist, starting once their very first tooth makes its appearance. Parents may also want to consider the option of having a protective dental sealant applied to their children’s teeth that can prevent dental cavities in children.
Habits relating to the way children eat and drink can also go a long way toward preventing dental health issues down the road. First of all, drinks and food items should not be passed among various individuals, even in families. Cavity-causing bacteria are able to travel from one person to the next, so it is best to avoid this practice altogether. Frequent snacking throughout the day, especially when it involves sugary, processed foods and drinks can give bacteria an opportunity to thrive and cause cavities. Brushing and rinsing after snacks, however, can help mitigate the risk.
Drinking large quantities of water, particularly tap water supplemented with fluoride is one of the best dietary habits to have when it comes to maintaining good oral health. Just about every affordable dentist would agree that juice consumption should be limited, due to its high levels of sugar and acidity that can harm tooth enamel.
When it comes to food, crisp produce with a high water content is ideal for keeping the mouth hydrated and providing key nutrients at the same time. Sticky foods and those that easily get trapped in the teeth, such as candy, fruit leather, and cookies should be limited, as they tend to foster harmful bacterial growth. Finally, nut butter and cheese can be terrific choices for kids of all ages, because they contain substances that actually work to remineralize the teeth, a benefit that can be difficult to obtain from other sources.