If you think cavities in baby teeth don’t matter just because your kid will eventually lose this first set of teeth, you’re wrong! It’s important that baby teeth stay free of tooth decay for several reasons:
- Healthy baby teeth protect your child from unnecessary dental discomfort.
- They guide the growth of the underlying adult teeth.
- Primary teeth allow for the development of proper speech, eating, chewing, and social skills.
As a parent, you need to make sure your kids receive the oral healthcare and education they need to maintain strong baby teeth now and strong adult teeth later. Here at Storybook Smiles Children’s Dentistry, our expert team does all we can to help families achieve and maintain healthy smiles. Read on for some tips to keep your kids cavity-free.
- Make Daily Brushing Fun
- Use Fluoride
- Teach Healthy Habits
- Visit Storybook Smiles Every 6 Months
Part of the battle against childhood cavities is getting kids to brush and floss regularly and effectively. If your child struggles with daily oral hygiene, jazz things up! Try introducing flavored floss, an electric water flosser, their favorite music, a family brushing session, and/or an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush takes over much of the hard work of brushing, and the best ones come with a built-in timer that signals every 30 seconds. This acts as a prompt to begin brushing a new quarter of the mouth. And before you know it, the two minutes is complete. Be sure your child remembers to brush their tongue too!
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens enamel against decay. It’s safe and effective, and there’s no reason to delay adding it to your child’s routine in age-appropriate amounts. For children under three years old, use a rice-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. After their third birthday, graduate to a pea-sized amount until they are six years old. And as soon as they are able, encourage your child to spit after brushing their teeth. Your child can also strengthen their teeth by drinking fluoridated tap water and receiving professional fluoride treatments at our office.
You have a great opportunity to influence your child at an early age to develop positive oral healthcare habits. This includes keeping up with daily oral hygiene and biannual dental visits, as well as teaching your child to: say “no” to cigarettes and drugs; drink plenty of water; consume a balanced diet filled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish, and dairy (as allergies permit); and enjoy sugary foods and beverages in moderation. Once your child is old enough, this also involves teaching them to interpret a nutrition label so they can make informed dietary choices. Sugar fuels the plaque bacteria that builds up on teeth and ultimately causes cavities. So, the less sugar your child consumes with more tooth-strengthening foods instead, the lower their chance of developing tooth decay and cavities.
At our office, we specialize in caring for growing smiles. Our range of preventive dental services can help keep even the youngest of patients free of decay and cavities. We recommend a child’s first dental visit to be shortly after they get their first tooth, or around their first birthday–whichever comes first. After that, we want to see them every six months. At these appointments, we’ll track their oral development, remove accumulated plaque and tartar, and treat any problem areas. We can also answer all your dental-related questions and suggest additional tips to promote superb oral health. So contact us today if you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Tyler, TX!