Rates of cavities are rising in part because of what, and how often, kids are eating. They’re consuming more processed carbohydrates like pretzels and crackers, and also more sweets, juice and soda than in the past. The bacteria that feed on sugar erode the structure of the teeth by depleting calcium. Once an area without calcium becomes large enough, the surface of the tooth collapses resulting in a cavity.
Here are some tips to help you navigate your child’s oral health:
For Babies –
Get in the habit of wiping your child’s gums with a clean corner of a wet washcloth.
Never put your baby to bed with a bottle.
Try to prevent passing your bacteria by not sharing food or utensils with your baby.
For Toddlers –
Limit high carb snacks, such as crackers, pretzels, and cereals, which break down into sugars.
Avoid constant access to juice in their sippy cups.
Brush at least twice a day. This may be easier to accomplish by having your child rest their head on your lap.
For Preschoolers –
Fluoride in toothpaste and in water can help fend off cavities by reversing early decay. An application of fluoride varnish in our office is another preventive tactic.
Start flossing. There are many child-friendly flossers available.
Try a battery operated spin brush. It does not require as much dexterity as a manual brush.
For Bigger Kids –
Talk to your dentist about sealants, which can reduce the risk of decay on biting surfaces. Permanent molars start to erupt around age 6.
Continue to help your child with brushing until at least age 6, especially their back teeth.
If you have any questions about your child’s oral health, please give our office a call. We will be happy to talk to you!