A recent article discussed some startling research indicating that dental cavities among children are one the rise. Forty years ago, this would have been no surprise, but with the rise of fluoride-based toothpastes, mouthwashes, and better dental care, cavities have steadily declined for years. Your general dentist in Sacramento will encourage parents to be proactive about children’s dental care, so here are a few tips to make sure that your child’s checkup doesn’t follow the national trend of increased cavities.
Brushing and Flossing
You hear this again and again, but brushing and flossing is the single most important thing that you can do for your children’s teeth. Many parents allow young children to brush their own teeth so that they can learn a good habit. While teaching good oral care is important, you should know that children under the age of six do not have the coordination to effectively brush their own teeth. As a parent, you can let your child brush his or her teeth, but you should follow up by brushing their teeth as well. This will prevent the build-up of plaque on hard to reach areas like the back of the mouth.
Flossing is important as well. It is very difficult to try to get into the back of a child’s mouth with dental floss. To solve this issue, you can talk to your dentist about getting flossers—devices that hold the floss and allow you to floss your child’s teeth more effectively. Again, your child is not coordinated enough to floss his or her teeth until about six years old. This is a job for parents or caregivers when children are young.
Cut Back Beverages
Children should have water in between meals, just like adults. Too many sugared beverages like soda, juice, or sports drinks can cause decay throughout the mouth. If you have a baby or toddler, you should never put the child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. This causes the sugars from the milk or juice to sit on the child’s teeth all night long. It’s no wonder that it causes the enamel to prematurely break down. If your child needs something to drink before bed, water is always the best option.
Eating healthy is vital to good dental health. Food that sticks to the teeth like candy or even dried fruit will cause cavities. Including fruits and vegetables can do a lot to help your child develop good habits early in life.
There are not a lot of secrets to keeping healthy teeth. As your general dentist in Sacramento will tell you, it is really just a matter of flossing and brushing, drinking more water, and eating healthy food. If you follow these steps, your child will continue to have great teeth his whole life.