Dental cavities and tooth decay in kids can become nightmares for parents. Poor dental health can lead to poor school performance, mood swings, painful nights, and even behavioral issues in some kids. As a parent, you will have to introduce a stringent dental care regimen for your kids to avoid any painful infections, cavities, and decays.
Dealing with cavities is not easy. Especially in children. They affect their health and are also quite painful to fix. Routine dental and oral care routine is very significant for kids. Especially if they eat junk food and sweets a lot. Maintaining oral health of your children is easier than going through painful dental procedures.
Let’s talk about the causes of cavities first.
What Causes Cavities?
Bacteria is the cause of tooth cavities. And cavities eventually lead to tooth decay. By practicing a healthy diet and hygiene practices, tooth decay can be avoided. Unfortunately, dental caries and cavities are very common among children of all ages.
By the age of 4, at least 1 in every 4 kids has a dental cavity. While some children get cavities even before the age of 4. We would highly recommend scheduling your kid’s first dental visit somewhere around their first birthday.
Streptococcus mutans, is a group of bacteria that plays a vital role in developing cavities and tooth decay. They feed on sugar and then produce acids, which dissolve the minerals on the topmost layer of the teeth, the enamel. Once the enamel starts wearing off, chances of affecting the inner layer, the dentin, will increase, hence leading to tooth decay.
Tag along for some effective tips to prevent dental cavities and decays in kids according to expert dentists and experts.
Having a Fixed Tooth Brushing Routine
Children respond quite well to routine creation. Therefore, emphasize the importance of oral hygiene and care by introducing fixed brushing and flossing routines. They may resist initially but as they grow up, enlighten them about the significance of dental health and they will concede to the fixed routine.
Being a parent, you will have to consistently reinforce the tooth-brushing routine. Make sure they brush their teeth twice a day. Also, try to incorporate flossing into their daily or at least, weekly routine.
Supervise When Your Kids are Able to Brush Independently
Until the age of 8, help your kids brush their teeth. But eight-year is an approximate marker. If they need help even after that, help them. However, if they can brush their teeth independently, supervise them until the age of 11.
A common observation is that kids who are able to tie their own shoelaces are able to brush their teeth as well. Moreover, while supervising, make sure you teach them the right tooth-brushing techniques. Food residues are the major reason for cavities and tooth decay. Therefore, brushing the right way is very important.
Pay a Frequent Visit to the Dentist
The dentist appointments of kids are as important as adults’. The dentist will take care of the oral health of your kid. Moreover, he will be able to figure out if the kid is developing any cavities. The doctor will also recognize any early signs of tooth decay.
The dentist will also give you a comprehensive briefing about keeping a check on your kid’s snacking routine. Take note of the general oral health guidelines shared by the dentist and try to follow them closely.
Encourage Brushing with Fluoride
While doing your groceries, make sure you buy toothpaste with fluoride as an essential ingredient. Fluoride is particularly important for kids.
Dentists sometimes recommend no rinsing after using a fluoride toothpaste for 2-year olds. They suggest spitting out the excess toothpaste so that fluoride sits on the teeth and provide an extra layer of protection.
Make sure your kids follow the instructed amount of toothpaste.
Limit Their Sugar Intake
Kids these days are into junk food and bakery items. Fizzy drinks, chocolates, and sugary stuff are really popular among kids of all ages. And unfortunately, adults also don’t have healthy eating habits. Therefore, kids have no motivation to stick to healthy eating habits.
Limit their junk food intake to bare minimum and come up with creative homemade snacks for kids. YouTube is here to your rescue. It’s loaded with delicious recipes for healthy homemade snacks. This way you will not only keep a check on their nutrition needs, but you will also bond with them by making scrumptious snacks for them.
However, even in the homemade snacks, make sure the sugar content is not high. When they do eat a piece of cake or a chocolate bar, ask them to brush their teeth to avoid cavities and tooth decay.
Set Up a Good Example
As mentioned before, you need to model healthy eating habits. And when it comes to modeling good behavior, it also applies to taking care of your own oral health first. Kids are good at mimicking adults. Therefore, they will naturally follow you and take care of their oral hygiene and health.
Seeing a parent valuing their set of pearly teeth will reinforce the importance. Therefore, make sure that at times, you do it in front of them. For instance, you can do some quick flossing while calling Cox customer support to know your monthly bill. Your kids will observe and ask questions. This is a perfect moment to enlighten and reinforce the significance of oral health.