Early tooth decay in children is now five times more common than asthma. Tooth decay is considered a disease because bacteria cause cavities. These bacteria use sugars in foods to create acids that are harmful to teeth. And the bad news is that cavities in young children are on the rise. The good news is that cavities are usually preventable. So how can you protect your child’s teeth from cavities?
- Smart Food Choices
- Good At-Home Hygiene
- Preventive Dentistry
The problem is that our diets contain more processed carbohydrates and sugars than in the past. We also eat more often. Saliva contains minerals that are designed to help tooth enamel repair itself after an attack from cavity-causing bacteria. Fluoride in water and toothpaste also helps strengthen tooth enamel. However, frequent snacking and sugary drinks are more than our saliva alone can handle. Protect your child’s teeth by limiting snacks in-between meals and saving sweets for after meals. The rule about no food after bedtime tooth brushing should also be hard and fast because saliva flow is decreased while sleeping.
Good hygiene habits should start early. You can clean the gums of babies with a damp washcloth. Brush toddler’s teeth with a soft, child-sized toothbrush. At about age 3, children can start brushing their own teeth with a follow-up brushing by the parent. Young children under the age of about 8 years old should always be supervised and helped. However, experience has shown that even older children who have enough dexterity to properly brush often do a very haphazard job. Brush twice a day and floss at night. We know this can be a challenge but try making it a family activity. Your efforts will be rewarded with better reports when you visit the dentist.
That brings us to the next cavity preventing step which are twice-yearly preventive visits to Southbridge Dental Care. Regular dental cleanings, exams, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants all help keep your child’s teeth strong. We can monitor your child’s oral health and catch issues before they become bigger problems. We can also support you in your efforts at home with education and encouragement.
Family Dental Care in Southbridge, MA
If it’s been a while since we’ve seen you or your child, making an appointment is easy. We offer family block appointments so everyone can see the dentist on the same day. Our office is comfortable, our staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and we offer an array of payment options. Give us a call or click the link below.