Dental caries is the most common chronic disease that affects children between the ages of six and 11, and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19. Dental caries also referred to as cavities or tooth decay are painful and can severely affect your child’s health and quality of life. For this reason, dentists recommend that children be taught the importance of dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.
Untreated dental caries can lead to severe pain, infection, and tooth loss. Even if children do not have permanent teeth yet, cavities can have lasting effects. Babies with tooth decay can have poor nutrition and have a difficult time with speech development.
The good news is, tooth decay is preventable. Here are some ways to help prevent dental caries in your child for better oral health.
Teach your child how to brush and floss properly
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, teach your child proper brushing technique, which means holding the brush at a 45-degree angle and brushing in a circular motion inside, outside, and on the chewing surfaces of teeth. If the child is over three years old, they may be ready to use fluoride toothpaste. Children need to use only a pea-sized amount.
Once your child’s teeth touch each other, they can start flossing. The proper way to do it is to wrap the ends of each length of floss around each middle finger. Then, carefully move the floss between the teeth in an up and down motion using the index fingers.
Educate your child on foods and drinks that build and destroy teeth
Anything that has added sugar is harmful to tooth enamel. If you are bottle-feeding, clean your child’s teeth and tongue after meals and at bedtime. Juice is laden with added sugar and may not be the best choice of drink. Get your child in the habit of drinking plain water.
Sweets and starchy foods increase the level of acid in the mouth that can erode tooth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to cavities. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and naturally clean the teeth and benefit oral health. Apples, melons, pears, celery, almonds, and cashews are good for teeth. Cheeses such as mozzarella, blue cheese, brie, or camembert are excellent snack choices that re-mineralize teeth. Unsweetened milk such as almond milk, cashew milk, and rice milk, and greek yogurt can help support stronger teeth.
See a Pediatric or Family Dentist
A pediatric dentist or family dentist can provide services for better teeth and mouth health. Preventive cleanings, early screening for orthodontic problems, early intervention, and cavity treatment, and dental sealants can help reduce the risk of dental caries and protect against it. A dentist can also make your child comfortable with regular visits, which benefits your child over the long term.
Pediatric Dentist in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
At Hagerman Dental Care, we help our pediatric patients maintain good oral health and give them what they need to maintain a happy and healthy mouth. Our dental team and staff regularly see pediatric patients and know how to make any child feel relaxed and comfortable by making each visit fun and positive. Our family dentist, Dr. Steven Hagerman loves children and is highly experienced in communicating with them.
To schedule an appointment with us, call our clinic today at (651) 646-2392 or use our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to helping your child develop good oral habits that last a lifetime!