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Top 5 Ways to Prevent Cavities in Children

Promoting healthy habits in children at a young age is crucial to developing them into happy, healthy adults. This starts with such basic habits as healthy eating and proper dental care. Children are very susceptible to cavities because often times they do not spend adequate time taking correct care of their teeth. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent cavities in children and promote good oral health.

Children's Dentistry1.       Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

While there are some people who feel it is adequate to brush their teeth once a day, the reality is brushing in the morning and at night is crucial to proper tooth and gum health. In the morning it usually comes naturally; no one likes morning breath and bacteria that has developed in the mouth while sleeping, and it is best removed as soon as you wake up. Night time brushing is also crucial as it clears the mouth of bacteria and plaque that will only spend time wearing away at your teeth while you sleep. Make it a part of your child or children’s daily routine to brush in the morning and at night.

Most dentists recommend two minutes of brushing a day. To make it fun for kids, teach them a song they can sing in their head while they brush, or put a short song on for them until they are finished.

2.       Use a Sonic Toothbrush

Sonic toothbrushes offer several benefits, particularly for children. First, sonic toothbrushes have been shown to reach areas conventional brushes cannot. This is particularly beneficial for children who are still learning to brush properly, and may miss certain places while brushing. The number of rotations per minute of a sonic toothbrush guarantees more strokes to the teeth as well, and the vibrations and energy created power more fluids between the teeth and into the gum line, ensuring a successful brush every time when correctly used.

Kids tend to have more fun with sonic toothbrushes as well. Some even play music, or come in fun colors!

3.       Proper Flossing

One of the most commonly ignored oral health methods for adults is proper flossing, and it often begins with children who aren’t raised with proper flossing routines. If flossing is not a strong point for you, do your best to not transfer your bad habits to your children!

Much like mouthwash and toothpaste options, there is a wide variety of choices for children in dental floss. Bubblegum and mint flavored floss types offer a sweet, child friendly taste while cleaning those areas between teeth that a tooth brush can miss. Proper flossing also promotes gum health and can help prevent gum disease (periodontal disease) such as gingivitis if done properly.

Dentists recommend flossing daily, and it isn’t a bad idea to make it a habit of flossing when your child brushes every time to get those spots their tooth brush misses.

4.       Maintain a Proper Diet for Your Children

Much like all the oral health methods mentioned thus far, maintaining a good diet for your children is crucial to them developing habits that will promote oral and general health as adults.

To start, have a set meal schedule for your children and limit snacking between meals. This limits the number of attacks by acids on the teeth and gives teeth the opportunity to repair themselves. Constant exposure to sugar or starches causes bacteria in the mouth to produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel.

Next, save sweets like candy and soda for special occasions. Closely monitor your child’s diet for food or drink items that contain excessive amounts of sugar. Also, be sure to monitor their fruit juice intake. Use the Daily Juice Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics for a good idea of how much juice should be in their diet.

Finally, be sure children do not fill up on sugary snacks or drinks before bedtime. Not only is this damaging to teeth, but it also doesn’t promote a healthy sleep cycle. Avoid bad dieting habits, and again, ensure your children always brush before bedtime.           

5.       Choose a Good, Reputable Dentist for Your Children

The final step to maintaining good oral health for yourself and your children is regular check-ups with a dentist you can count on to properly care for your children’s teeth. This is crucial to maintaining good oral health. A regular check-up for your children every six months is recommended to prevent cavities and other dental issues that may arise. It’s a good idea to schedule a visit for your children that coincides with your regular visit so that both you and your children can leave the office with bright, shining teeth and renewed confidence in your oral health. Based on personal oral health, your dentist may recommend additional visitation, but a six month routine is a good place to start.

Additionally, regular check-ups for your children can allow you to discover the effects your child’s diet is having on their teeth and to see if they are effectively brushing and flossing their teeth. There are lots of ways a dentist can visually demonstrate areas your child may be missing where plaque is more prevalent as well. Seeing where your child or children’s toothbrush and floss aren’t reaching is not only helpful in addressing problem areas, but is overall beneficial in ensuring your child or children maintain healthy habits and stay diligent in correctly brushing and flossing.

City Dental Centers is proud to offer children’s dentistry. We service several locations in Southern California and would love to schedule a visit with you and your children as soon as possible. To contact us, call 1-888-553-7775. You can also visit our locations page to find one of our dentist offices nearest you and dial that specific office.

Promote good oral health for yourself and your children. Contact us today!