Are you looking for tips on how to prevent cavities in your child? Searching for advice on proper dental care for children? Want to give your child the best start on oral health? Here are some excellent ideas on how to prevent cavities and help your child practice good dental hygiene.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #1: Make it a Goal to be Consistent With Your Child’s Oral Care
As a parent, there’s some things you can slack on. You can let them roam around in their pj’s in the backyard, go a day without brushing their hair, and even delay potty training if you want. Dental care, however, is not something you can slack on. It is crucial that you be consistent with your child’s dental care. Not only will it save your child’s smile, it can save thousands of dollars in dental care costs as well. Set a goal to take proper care of your child’s teeth and oral health.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #2 :Brush and Floss frequently
I know this one’s obvious, but the article wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include it. I believe that the number one step to preventing cavities is to brush your child’s teeth frequently. Ask you child’s dentist (or dental hygenist) for tips on brushing your child’s teeth. Read “How to Brush a Toddler’s Teeth Without a Fight.” for some good advice.
It’s a great idea to get a cool-looking toothbrush such as one that lights up (my son loves it) or one that is themed after his/her favorite cartoon character. Some toddlers are afraid of electric toothbrushes. Flossing is also important as well. I will be completely honest and say I really don’t do this often with my toddler, but it is something that needs to be done. Your child’s dentist can show you how to floss your child’s teeth.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #3: Say Buh-Bye to the Bottle By One Year
If your child is bottle fed, it’s time to get rid of it by one year. My pediatrician did mention that up to 15 months is fine, but most experts agree the habit needs to be broken by one year. This is to prevent baby bottle tooth decay and cavities. Google it to learn more about this serious, but highly preventable condition. The only exception to this rule is if the bottle is full of water only. Even then, it best to not let your child become attached to a bottle.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #4: Avoid sharing food and eating utensils.
Although tempting, it is wise to never share food and forks/spoons with your child. The reason is that bacteria from your mouth can be transferred to your child’s mouth, thus significantly increasing your child’s risk of cavities and dental problems. If your child asks, “Can I have a bite?”, you should say no, or provide them with their own serving.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #5: Avoid Giving Your Child Sugary Candy and Honey
This past fall I enrolled my son in a weekly Mother’s Day Out program. They provide excellent care and fun activities, but they also seem to provide suckers, cupcakes (for birthdays), and candy (especially at Halloween and Christmas) often. I have a rule now that he can only have candy then, since I’m not going to change their rules, and plus it helps him like going there. Candy is best to used as only a special treat, as the sugar can get stuck in their teeth and lead to tooth decay. Honey is also something that is a big no-no, it is best to not give them honey at all, or at least only once in a blue moon maybe.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #6: Get Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a plastic resin used to cover back and hard-to-reach teeth to prevent tooth decay. Google “dental sealants” for more information. Ask you dentist what age would be appropriate to see about getting your child dental sealants.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #7: Talk To Your Dentist Regarding Fluoride
If you live in an area without fluorinated water talk to your child’s dentist or pediatrician about a fluoride supplement. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel of the teeth and will prevent cavities.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #8: Visit The Dentist Often
Dental visits are not something you can afford to miss. If you do not have dental insurance, think of the cost for the appointment (50 dollars where I live) as investing in your child’s teeth and preventing future problems. I took my child to the dentist when he turned two. Some experts recommend going by one year. I personally recommend no later than 3 years of age. Visit the dentist at least once every 8 months, preferable once every 6 months.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #9: Avoid letting Your Child Drink Sugary Juice Frequently
Watered-down juice is okay once a day with a meal, but it is best to avoid letting him/her drink it during no-meal times (such as in the car, watching T.V., etc). The sugar in the juice will build up on the teeth and cause tooth decay.
How to Prevent Cavities Tip #10: Set a Good Example
As with many things you teach your child, one of the best ways to teach your child is to just set a good example. If they see you following what you say, they are more likely to adapt these skills and lifelong practices.
These are a few tips to help ensure your child has a healthy smile! Happy Brushing!