Children’s Cavities: As a general practitioner (dentist), the most common problem that one can see in children are cavities. Despite the prevalence, they are the most preventable, with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.
Brush twice a day:
Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime. Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes. Make brushing fun by using a timer or playing their favourite music. Use of an electric tooth brush can be more engaging than a routine, manual brush.
Flossing is just as important as brushing. Teach your child how to floss properly and make it part of their daily routine. Flossing can be started as soon as teeth come in contact with each other.
Limit sugary foods and drinks:
Sugar is the main cause of tooth decay. Limit sugary snacks and drinks like candy, soda, and juice. Encourage your child to drink water instead. Check the ingredients on the food packets. Stay away from foods having items ending with ‘ose’ examples: glucose, fructose etc. Limit sweets to mealtimes and reduce snack times as much as possible.
Encourage healthy snacks:
Healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, and cheese can help promote oral health. They contain vitamins and minerals that strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Avoid or reduce the consumption of fruits and juices with acidic content in them.
Visit the dentist regularly:
Regular dental check-ups are important for maintaining good oral health. The Australian Dental association recommends that children should see a dentist every six months. Some children , with special needs or poor hygiene , may need to be seen in shorter times, like 3 months.
Consider dental sealants:
Dental sealants are thin plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They provide extra protection against tooth decay and can last for several years.
Lead by example:
Children learn by example. Make sure you are setting a good example by practising good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly.
In conclusion, cavities are a common dental problem in children, but they can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. As a family dental practice, we encourage parents to follow these tips to help their children maintain good oral health. By teaching children good oral hygiene habits at a young age, parents can help ensure their children have healthy teeth for a lifetime.