You probably want your children to brush and floss their teeth properly. After all, you want them to maintain excellent oral health well into adulthood.
However, it may be difficult to convince them to brush their teeth two or three times per day. You’ve likely heard “I don’t have time to brush my teeth tonight” at least once.
So, how can you help your children join the “No Cavity Club”? Continue reading to discover how to prevent them from getting cavities.
Start Early With Oral Hygiene
It is always early enough to start practicing good oral hygiene habits with your children. As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth twice daily.
Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and supervise them until they are old enough to brush their teeth. Encourage them to brush for at least two minutes each time.
Model Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Children learn by watching, so it’s essential to lead by example. Brush your teeth before your children to show them the importance of good oral hygiene. Additionally, floss your teeth at least once daily to remove any food particles and plaque a toothbrush may miss.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride toothpaste helps to strengthen the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to cavities. Make sure to use fluoride toothpaste when brushing your child’s teeth.
You only need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children under six. However, for children over six, they can use a pea-sized amount or a little more.
Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Limit sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and juice, as they can damage the teeth over time. Also, avoid sticky, chewy candy that can get stuck between teeth and cause cavities.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water after meals and throughout the day helps rinse away food particles and sugar that can lead to cavities. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water, especially if they consume sugary or acidic foods or drinks.
Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are essential for your child’s oral health. During a check-up, your dentist will examine your child’s teeth and gums for any signs of decay, gum disease, or other dental problems. They may recommend dental cleanings for kids to remove any plaque or tartar buildup that can cause cavities or gum disease.
It’s recommended to take your child for dental check-ups every six months, or as their dentist recommends. It’s a great way to maintain good oral health and prevent any potential dental problems from worsening.
Consider Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a protective coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent decay. Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as they come in, usually around age 6 or 7. Dental sealants are an excellent way to protect children’s teeth from cavities and last up to 10 years.
Use Mouthguards for Sports
Mouthguards can help protect your child’s teeth during sports and other activities that could impact their face or mouth. A custom-fit mouthguard made by a dentist offers the best protection. It is recommended for children who participate in contact sports.
Encourage Good Eating Habits
A well-balanced diet is beneficial not only for overall health but also for oral health. Encourage your child to eat foods high in vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D.
These nutrients help to strengthen the teeth and bones. Also, avoid foods high in sugar or acid, as they can cause cavities and erosion of the teeth.
Reward Good Behavior
Praise and reward your child for good oral hygiene habits to reinforce positive behavior. This can make oral hygiene a positive and enjoyable part of their daily routine and promote good oral health. You can use a sticker chart or other small incentives to reward your child for brushing and flossing regularly.
Avoid Giving Your Child a Bottle at Bedtime
Giving your child a bottle at bedtime can lead to tooth decay, also known as “bottle rot.” Milk and juice contain sugar that can pool around your child’s teeth and cause decay if it sits on them for an extended period. Instead, fill their bottle with water or encourage them to drink before bed to rinse away any food particles or sugar left in their mouth.
Use a Tongue Scraper
Bacteria can build up on the tongue and contribute to bad breath and tooth decay. Use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and keep your child’s breath fresh gently.
Tongue scrapers are readily available at most drugstores and are simple to use. Gently scrape the surface of your child’s tongue from back to front, and rinse the scraper after each pass. Make sure to clean the scraper thoroughly after each use.
Encourage Your Child To Chew Sugar-free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva production, which neutralizes acid and helps rinse away food particles. Choose gum sweetened with xylitol, a natural sweetener that helps prevent cavities.
Xylitol has been shown to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and promote oral health. Encourage your child to chew sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after meals, especially if they can’t brush their teeth immediately.
Consider Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments help to strengthen the tooth enamel and make it more resistant to cavities. If your child is at high risk for cavities, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments. These treatments involve applying a fluoride gel or varnish to your child’s teeth, which are safe and painless.
Fluoride treatments can be especially helpful for children with a history of cavities or difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene. Talk to your dentist to see if fluoride treatments suit your child.
Join the No Cavity Club and Say Goodbye to Tooth Decay
Yes, your kids can enter the No Cavity Club! By working together and encouraging them to brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly, you, as a parent, can help your child.
It will help them maintain optimal oral health, and their teeth will stay strong, bright, and healthy for years. So, don’t miss out and start helping your child now with their daily habits!
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