Over 50% of kids between the ages of 5 to 9 have experienced at least one cavity. As a mom of young kids, you might be interested in learning ways to prevent this from occurring.
While a cavity in children’s teeth seems to be quite common, you can take the right steps to help your kids avoid them.
Are you ready to learn how to prevent cavities on your child’s teeth? If so, continue reading this guide to learn some vital facts and tips about kids and cavities.
How Cavities Form
A cavity is the term dentists use for decay. Decay on a tooth occurs when sugars and starches consume bacteria on the teeth and begin eating away at the tooth structure.
For tooth decay to occur, you must consume sugar and starches. Secondly, the sugars from foods and drinks must remain on the teeth for a while. As this occurs, it creates a substance called plaque.
Plaque left on teeth hardens and becomes tartar. As this occurs, decay begins forming on teeth, and the result is a cavity.
Both kids and adults can develop tooth decay, but babies can also develop it on their teeth. When babies have cavities, it is often the result of baby bottle decay. Baby bottle decay is something you can prevent with the right steps.
Why Decay Is Bad for Baby Teeth and Adult Teeth
When decay forms on teeth, it destroys them. With kids, it can even destroy baby teeth. You might not realize that decay on baby teeth is a bad thing. After all, these teeth will fall out.
The problem is that many baby teeth won’t fall out until your child is much older. For example, some baby teeth won’t fall out until your child is 12 years old or older.
The second problem is that baby teeth have permanent teeth below them. If a baby tooth has decay on it, the decay can work through the tooth and affect the adult tooth.
If this occurs, your child’s adult tooth will erupt with a cavity right from the start. As a parent, you probably want your child’s teeth to be healthy, especially the permanent teeth.
You can help your child protect their teeth by taking the right steps. Continue reading to learn about the best ways to prevent cavities from forming.
Ways to Prevent a Cavity in Children’s Teeth
Preventing day requires several steps. Here are some of the top things you can do as a parent to help your children keep their teeth cavity-free:
Clean the Gums
From the time your baby is born, you can start working on helping the child have a healthy mouth. While babies do not have teeth until they are around six months old, they have teeth under the gums.
To start caring for your baby’s teeth, you’ll need to begin as soon as your baby is born. The best thing to do is to wipe off your baby’s gums after he or she eats. You can do this with a soft, warm cloth.
Next, you’ll need to avoid lying your baby down with a bottle. When babies get bottles while laying in bed, they have the risk of developing baby bottle decay.
Finally, never give your baby anything sugary or sweet. You should stick with formula or breastmilk only.
Limit the Foods and Beverages You Give Them
As your child begins to grow, you should aim to provide healthy meals and snacks to them. While you can give them sugary snacks and foods occasionally, the majority of the foods they eat should be healthy.
Limiting their beverages to milk and water only is another important principle. Juice, pop, and sports drinks contain a lot of sugar, and sugary drinks tend to increase the risk of decay forming.
Develop an Oral Care Routine in the Morning and Evening
As a parent, you will be responsible for teaching your kids how to care for their teeth. To do this, you might want to develop an effective (and fun) oral care routine to complete each morning and night before bed.
Making it fun helps children enjoy brushing their teeth. Teaching them about why they brush their teeth can also help them understand the importance of doing this.
You can even reward your kids for their good oral care habits. Rewarding them helps to encourage them to keep up the good work.
Take Your Child to the Dentist Regularly
To prevent tooth decay, you’ll also want to start taking your children to the dentist when they are young. You can ask a pediatric dentist when to begin visits, and most recommend around the age of one or two.
During the visits, your child will experience various procedures. For example, they will clean your child’s teeth. They might also do x-rays when your children reach a certain age.
Dentists also provide fluoride treatments, which are vital for the health of their teeth. Fluoride strengthens the outer parts of the teeth, increasing the protection that tooth enamel offers.
Many homes with city water systems have fluoride in the tap water. If your home doesn’t, you might want to ask the dentist if you should provide fluoride to your child.
Your dentist can give you advice about this and ways to do it. Children’s teeth need fluoride to develop properly.
If your child develops decay on a tooth, your dentist can offer a treatment plan for the decay. The most common option is performing a filling on the tooth.
You can also learn more about effective habits to use by checking out this ultimate kid’s brushing guide.
Find a Good Pediatric Dentist
A cavity in children’s teeth is something that pediatric dentists treat all the time. It’s better, though, if you can help your children protect their teeth against decay.
If you are looking for an excellent pediatric dentist in the Colleyville, TX area, contact us. We offer pediatric dental services and would love to hear from you!