According to the CDC, cavities are the single most common preventable childhood illness, and around 42% of children develop at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. At Honest Teeth, we want to make sure parents are well-informed and equipped with the knowledge they need to care for their child’s teeth and ensure that they remain cavity-free. Here are 5 ways to prevent cavities from developing in little teeth:
1. Encourage Proper Brushing and Flossing Habits
Your child should be brushing their teeth 2-3 times per day for at least 2 minutes. Ideally, they should brush once in the morning and once at night, at a minimum. Until your child is about 6 years old, or dexterous enough to tie their own shoes, you’ll have to brush their teeth for them.
In addition, flossing is also necessary to help prevent cavities. It can remove food debris and plaque that is not accessible with brushing. Floss your child’s teeth once per day until they can start flossing on their own, usually around the age of 10.
2. Watch Their Diet – Avoid Sugar, Acid, and Simple Carbohydrates
Sugary drinks and foods, like soda, juice, and candy are extremely bad for your child’s teeth. Oral bacteria feasts on the sugary residue which encourages acid growth. More acid equals more cavities! Simple carbohydrates, like starches from potato chips, can also encourage bacterial growth and lead to cavities. When possible, help your child to avoid sugary snacks and drinks, and encourage a fiber-rich diet with plenty of complex carbohydrates.
3. Come to Honest Teeth for Six-Month Checkups
Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger at Honest Teeth will ensure that your child’s mouth is healthy. During routine checkups, our team will clean your child’s teeth thoroughly, eliminating plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas of their mouth. We’ll also check for signs of cavities and address any issues before they become bigger problems.
4. Consider Fluoride Treatment
At its most minor stage, tooth decay is reversible. This stage of tooth decay is called a “soft spot” and occurs when the enamel of the tooth starts to weaken but hasn’t completely formed a cavity yet.
A fluoride treatment is usually delivered after an oral exam and consists of a fluoride-rich gel that is painted onto your child’s teeth. Fluoride encourages weakened teeth to remineralize and become stronger, which can reverse minor tooth decay and prevent a cavity from forming.
5. Think About Dental Sealants
If your child is cavity-prone, dental sealants can help protect their teeth. Dental sealants consist of a special plastic resin that is painted onto your child’s rear molars, then hardened with a UV light. After it is hardened, the resin forms a protective barrier that prevents acid and bacteria from coming in direct contact with the treated teeth, preventing cavity formation for up to 10 years.
Keep Little Smiles Healthy – Come To Honest Teeth Today!
Whether you think your child may have a cavity, or you just need preventive care to ensure their mouth stays healthy, Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger of Honest Teeth are here to help. To get started and schedule an appointment, just contact us at (262) 784-7770, or stop by our office in Elm Grove at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122.