Did you know that cavities are the most common long-term illness in children? And 40% of kids have cavities by the time they start kindergarten? This is a big deal, not only because it can hurt and lead to infections but also because children with tooth decay are more likely to miss school and get lower grades and because tooth decay is linked to a higher risk of many health problems later in life, such as heart disease and being born early.
Tooth decay is easy to avoid, but many families don’t do what they need to do:
Don’t Forget To Take The Fluoride
Fluoride is a great way to keep your teeth free from getting cavities. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, but not getting any fluoride at all is a big mistake. There is no need for toothpaste to be “trained.” Use fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child gets teeth. The key is to use a minimal quantity. Before age 3, you only need a very small amount.
Don’t Forget To Brush
It can be hard to get everyone out of the house in the morning, and it’s normal to be so tired in the evening that getting the kids to bed is the only thing you can think about. But brushing your teeth every day is the best way to avoid cavities. If possible, you should brush your teeth after every meal, but doing it twice daily is fine, too. Once a day isn’t good enough.
Don’t Forget To Watch The Brushing
Kids should be independent, but not when it’s time to brush their teeth. Each tooth needs to be brushed for it to work well. Most kids don’t brush all of their teeth when they’re on their own (some of them barely brush any). So, parents need to help kids younger than 6 brush their teeth. They can’t just hand them a toothbrush and check their phones or send them to the bathroom to brush on their own. Do it yourself until you know they’re doing what needs to be done.
Don’t Give Kids Sweets That Are Sticky
Sugar is bad for teeth and even worse when it sticks to them. So when it comes to snacks, things like toffee, caramel, gummy bears, and even dried fruit are not the best choices. Not that kids should never have them, but they shouldn’t have too many of them and brush their teeth as soon as possible after eating them.
Don’t Let Kids Walk Around With Sippy Cups, Bottles Of Juice Or Milk
When kids drink a lot of juice or milk, the sugar in those drinks always coats their teeth. Even 100% juice and unsweetened milk have sugar (the natural sugars in milk and juice, not sucrose), which can damage teeth. If kids want to bring a drink, it should be water.
Don’t Put Off Going To The Dentist Too Soon Or Too Often
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics say that children should see a dentist by age one. Once they start, they should go every six months for a checkup, cleaning, and preventive care like sealants. Going to the dentist for regular checkups is the best way to find problems early and stop them before they start, just like going to the pediatrician for regular checkups.
You can visit Spanaway Children’s Dentistry in Spanaway, WA for the best preventive dental care for your child.