Tips To Keep Your Child Cavity Free

child brushing his teeth

1. Make tooth brushing fun

Purchasing toothbrushes that light up or have your child’s favorite cartoon characters on them is a good way to make a daily routine fun. Always make sure that the toothbrush has soft bristles. Bubblegum or fruit-flavored toothpastes also encourage children to brush their teeth, eliminating the “stinging” feeling of minty toothpastes. Make sure that the toothpastes you purchase for your child have fluoride in them. A toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association is best.

2. Limit the frequency of sweets

Any food or drink that contains sugar is harmful to the teeth. Anytime that sugar is in the mouth, bacteria use the sugar to produce acid on the teeth. Acid is produced in the mouth for 20 minutes. It takes an additional 40 minutes for the body to neutralize the mouth back to a normal PH factor. So, every time that you eat or drink sugar, acid in produced on your teeth for about an hour.

3. Schedule biannual dental cleanings and exam

Dental cleanings remove calcified plaque that is impossible to get rid of through tooth brushing and flossing alone. Regular dental examinations allow Dr. Feldhaus to catch potential dental problems in their earliest stages, preventing expensive, complicated dental work down the line. During your child’s dental exam, Dr. Feldhaus will also check to ensure that the teeth are properly developing. It is also beneficial to your child to review any oral habits with them and encourage them to stop or slow finger sucking habits, for example.

4. Do not give your child a bottle with juice or milk at night

If your child must have a bottle at bedtime, use water or try a pacifier instead. Juices, milk and anything with sugar or acid will only feed the plaque resulting in more cavities.

5. You need to help a child under 6 brush their teeth.

Children brushing teeth Studies show that children under 6 do not have the dexterity to do a good job. One great strategy if you have a child who likes to do everything on their own is to let them do it first. Then say that it’s Mommy or Daddy’s turn. Of course there are children who will fight you on it, and there is no easy answer on how to handle it. Some children need help or at least supervision even at older ages.