5 Practical Ways for Parents to Prevent Tooth Decay in Kids
Over the past years, there has been an increase in the rate of tooth decay in children. A report by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry shows that 60% of children experience at least one cavity by the time they’re five years old.
Among the associated long-term effects of early cavities are misalignment and discoloration, among other dental issues. To prevent cavities, take the following steps:
See a dentist early enough
Once the first tooth erupts, make arrangements to see a kids’ dentist in Lehi within six months. This translates to the time they’re about one year old. The dentist will check their teeth for any problems and also guide you on the best ways to take care of your baby’s teeth.
Be cautious with the baby bottle
Baby bottle tooth decay is common in children who have prolonged contact with the bottle. This is caused by the long exposure to the sugars in breast milk. To avoid this, don’t let your little ones sleep with the bottle in their mouth. Remove it as soon as they fall asleep. Once they’re a year old, introduce an open cup for beverages.
Clean their mouth regularly
Even before the first tooth erupts, you should use a sterilized cloth to clean their gums. Once they have teeth, use a soft toothbrush to remove plaque. With time, introduce appropriate toothpaste and show them how to floss. These habits will keep bacteria out of their mouth and prevent cavities.
Avoid saliva-sharing habits
It’s essential for parents to avoid transmitting harmful bacteria to their children. Any habits that encourage saliva sharing such as using saliva to clean utensils or pacifiers as well as sharing spoons give room for transfer of bacteria from your mouth to theirs.
Adopt an appropriate diet
Sugary and starchy foods increase the risk of your children experiencing tooth decay. Have your kids snack on healthy foods and include items that promote strong teeth. Avoid sticky foods and those with high levels of sugar.
With these precautions, you’re likely to prevent cavities in your kids. In case you detect cavities in your children, see a pediatric dentist for early treatment. Also, keep up with the annual dental checkups to ensure your children’s oral health is on point.