Any pediatric dentist in Canada will tell you that tooth decay is the #1 problem facing the oral health of children. In fact, tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood health condition. 21% of kids between the age of 6-11 have at least one decayed tooth.
Because of this, parents should make cavity prevention one of their #1 priorities for their children. How can you do that?
In this guide, we’ll discuss our top tips for preventing and reversing tooth decay in kids. Let’s get started:
1. See Your Dentist Early – And Often
When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time? Many people think that the best time to take their children to the dentist is after their baby teeth have all grown in. But this is not the case.
You should take your child to the dentist after their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday – whatever occurs first. And, thereafter, your child should visit the dentist once every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam.
This helps familiarize your child with going to the dentist, decreasing the risk of anxiety. It also ensures that any potential cavities or other issues are caught early, and won’t progress to the point where they need to be filled, or the tooth needs to be extracted.
2. Consider Fluoride Treatments And Dental Sealants
Fluoride treatments involve a specialized fluoridated gel that’s “painted” on your child’s teeth, and then rinsed away. This treatment boosts fluoride levels in the mouth, allowing the effects of minor tooth decay to be reversed.
Dental sealants are also an option when visiting most pediatric dentists in Canada. Dental sealants are a special plastic coating that is applied to the rear teeth, covering them up and preventing bacteria from wearing down the enamel.
Your pediatric dentist Winnipeg will tell you if these treatments are right for your child, so follow their advice to protect their teeth.
3. Encourage Tooth Brushing Habits
You’ll have to brush your child’s teeth until they have the manual dexterity to tie their own shoes, which is usually around age 6-8, depending on the child. But once they start brushing on their own, monitor their tooth brushing habits until they are at least 11 years old.
Make sure your kids understand how important brushing is, and that they need to brush at least twice a day for two minutes.
One great way to do this is by example. Consider having your kids brush their teeth along with you, and show them the best techniques to ensure that their mouths are totally clean.
4. Minimize Sugar Consumption – Especially Juice And Soda
You should minimize the consumption of all types of sugar, but especially sugar in beverages.
Juice and soda both have extremely high sugar levels, and if your child regularly drinks both, they could be at a higher risk of tooth decay, especially if they are not drinking enough water.
Rather than giving juice or soda to your kids, encourage them to drink more water and other beverages like milk, which are good for the teeth. And when it’s time for sweets, consider giving them fresh fruit instead of juice.
For treats, snacks like chocolate candy and cookies are also preferable to sugary lollipops, hard candy, or gummy candies. Baked goods and chocolate don’t tend to get stuck between the teeth, and are rinsed away more easily by saliva.
Finally, any sweets or treats you give your kids should be eaten all at once, rather than “snacked” upon throughout the day. When your kids munch on a bowl of candy throughout the day, the sugar levels in their mouths stay elevated for a longer period of time, which leads to a higher risk of cavities.
Follow These Tips – And Avoid Childhood Cavities!
As long as you follow these tips, and see a pediatric dentist in Canada regularly, you’ll be able to minimize the risk of your child developing a preventable cavity. Not only that, you’ll encourage healthy oral care habits that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.