May 14, 2019
How Can Parents Help Prevent Tooth Decay?
All parents want what’s best for their kids, including protecting their oral health. Unfortunately, many young children develop tooth decay, which can progress into serious oral health issues. At Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we believe in a preventive approach to keeping your child’s teeth in tip-top shape. We look forward to working alongside you to ensure your child enjoys healthy smiles for a lifetime.
What Are the Causes of Tooth Decay?
Children love sugary treats and starches. If the teeth are not cleaned well after eating these foods, bacteria starts a feeding frenzy, resulting in plaque, a clear sticky film, forming on your child’s teeth and gums. The acid in the plaque attacks the tooth enamel, which results in tooth decay and cavities. Tooth decay left untreated can eventually affect the tooth pulp, causing pain and discomfort, and potentially requiring root canal treatment.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay
Start decay prevention early: Caring for your child’s teeth begins in the womb. Your diet during pregnancy contributes to your baby’s developing primary teeth. Make sure to consume a healthy, balanced diet. After birth, you should clean your baby’s gum with a wet, warm cloth every day and begin brushing them gently using an infant toothbrush as they come in.
Create a tooth brushing routine: Getting into the habit of brushing teeth early on will carry forward into adulthood. By age one, your child will be ready for fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste as per directions, and make sure to brush your child’s teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. Children younger than 6 will need help to make sure they are cleaning their teeth well. Continue supervising until you are sure your child can brush independently. You may want to incorporate a reward system, a favorite song, or a fun activity to make teeth brushing a fun time.
Regular dental exams and cleanings: Make sure to start your child’s dental visits no later than the first birthday. We will check for any early signs of tooth decay, and will monitor your child’s oral health and development. We will also clean your child’s teeth and remove any plaque or tartar deposits. We will demonstrate proper oral hygiene strategies to ensure proper dental hygiene practices at home.
Preventive treatments: Depending on your child’s age, oral health, and risk factors, we may recommend preventive treatments such as fluoride or dental sealants to protect the teeth and to prevent tooth decay.
Limit sugar intake: the amount of sugar in your child’s diet contributes to tooth decay. Sugar is a food source for bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Encourage your child to choose healthy snacks and to drink water to help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
About Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
We, at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, are passionate about keeping our young patients’ teeth healthy and strong. We are here to answer questions to offer advice on how to best care for your child’s oral health. We look forward to helping you ensure your child enjoys healthy smiles for years to come. Call us today!