Tooth decay in children’s teeth is one of the most troubling health concerns faced today. Also known as cavities, these areas of decay are easily preventable, but more often than not, children are the most prone to getting cavities due to poor diets, poor oral hygiene, and other health problems faced by children. Maintaining their smile means more than just brushing and flossing – to us, caring for children’s teeth means giving them a healthier outlook on life. This month is Children’s Dental Health Month, and this holiday was made to help us give parents useful tools on how to protect their children’s teeth from cavities.
How Can Cavities in Children Be Prevented?
Cavities do more than just put your child’s teeth in danger. Children with poor oral health are more prone to missing more days at school and have poorer grades than those who don’t. These areas of decay can be a significant source of pain for them and can cause issues with eating, drinking, and speaking, which can impact how well they do at school and make everyday interactions with them more difficult. More often than not, children with cavities often don’t communicate about their pain levels until the cavity has taken hold of their tooth, and even more concerning, children in lower-income households aren’t always be to get adequate treatment for their cavities.
Because of these concerns, preventing cavities is important for helping your child succeed. Many pediatric dentists have an acronym for helping parents learn about the effects of cavities and how they can help their children protect them from tooth decay. This acronym is PEARLS of Wisdom:
- Protect Tiny Teeth: For mothers who are pregnant, caring for their bodies can help improve your child’s health overall, especially their oral health. Taking care of your teeth can give your child a better chance of having healthier teeth and prevent the risk of cavities.
- Ensure that you clean your baby’s gums: During the first few years, your child’s gums will be the most prone to bacteria growth, especially once they start eating solid foods that can easily get caught in their gums. Brushing their gums with a soft toothbrush and xylitol toothpaste can help protect their gums, especially when their baby teeth come in.
- Avoid Bottles at Bedtime: Feeding your baby with bottles is an excellent way to care for them, but giving them milk or juice sippy cups around bedtime can increase the risk of cavities for them. During the night, it’s easy for bacteria to develop along the gum line and begin developing plaque along with the enamel, and it can be more difficult to clean over time without dental treatment.
Remember to help your child out with brushing their teeth. Helping them with brushing and flossing is a great way to not only teach them the basics of oral care but also can create an amazing bonding experience for you and your child.
Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s meals. Sugar and carbs are the primary fuel sources for bacteria in the mouth, making cavities more prominent over time. Providing your child with fruits and vegetables and fewer candies and sweets will contribute to their oral health and protect their teeth from decay.
The Importance of Early Dental Visits For Your Children
Another great tip to follow during this month is to schedule their appointment with their dentist by the time they reach a year old. Their tiny teeth are super important for their oral health, and for your dentist, seeing their teeth will allow them to look for signs of malocclusion and provide preventative treatments such as braces. By scheduling their appointments, you’ll be assured that their teeth will form and align naturally and will have healthy smiles for the future.
If you want to learn about how to care for your child’s teeth, the best way to care for them is by scheduling an appointment with their dentist. Children’s Dental Health Month is the perfect time to schedule their appointments and make sure they get their annual checkups. These visits help establish a healthy relationship between you and your child’s dentist, and they help avoid overtly expensive costs related to your child’s health. By visiting the dentist, you can work with them to learn about preventative treatments such as dental sealants, fluoride treatments, and regular dental cleanings. Protecting your child’s teeth from cavities should be high on your priority, so make sure to call your child’s family or pediatric dentist today!