Five Ways to Prevent Dental Cavities in Children

Five Ways to Prevent Dental Cavities in Children

May 01, 2020

Children are prone to dental cavities than adults and having the necessary preventive measures can help in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.Did you know that dental decay and cavities are the most prevalent dental condition in children? Yes. According to the CDC, around 42 percent of the kids aged between two and 11 years get cavities at some point. It is, therefore, essential to have preventive measures in place to maintain oral health.

Why is it essential to prevent cavities in children? After all, they will still lose their primary teeth? Yes, the baby teeth will off, but they are crucial to a child’s dental health as they are placeholders for the permanent teeth. Any premature loss will lead to overcrowding, overbites, crossbites, and other orthodontic problems. Preserving both their primary and permanent teeth is important, and here are five ways you can do so:

  1. Have Proper Dental Hygiene Practices

Dental hygiene does not begin when the child gets permanent teeth, but rather at infancy. The absence of teeth does not mean that the risk of cavities is not present. Remember, the baby’s teeth develop while they still in the womb but will erupt at six or seven months. Keeping the gums clean and free of buildup is vital to prevent bacterial growth.

Every day, clean the gums with a soft and damp cloth, especially after breastfeeding. After the first tooth erupts, you can buy a kid-friendly, soft-bristled toothbrush.

  1. Get Regular Pediatric Dental Checkups 

You should visit the pediatric dentist when the first baby tooth emerges or before their first birthday. The first pediatric dental visit lasts for a few minutes, but it is critical to creating a rapport with the dentist.

During this visit, our dentist will examine the gums and clean off any buildup. It is vital to visit the dentist every six months or as advised for proper dental assessment and cleaning.

  1. Use Enough Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral found in toothpaste and mouth rinses. The mineral helps to strengthen the enamel and promote mineral reabsorption. Furthermore, it can prevent mild dental cavities.

Fluoride is effective, but taken in large doses can cause fluorosis, which leads to teeth discoloration, among other problems. It is recommended to avoid using fluoride toothpaste on children below three years. Also, monitor the child as they brush to prevent them from swallowing the toothpaste.

  1. Watch the Sugar Intake

Children love sugary foods and snacks. Although they may be tasty, sugar is an enemy to the enamel. We have bacteria present in the mouth that breakdown the sugar and produces an acidic solution. The acid affects the enamel by making it softer and softer. Eventually, holes will develop and lead to cavities.

Supplement sugary foods with healthy snacks. Also, ensure the children rinse their mouth after consuming carbs. Breastmilk contains sugar and will have the same effect, so wipe the gums after breastfeeding to remove the buildup.

Do not allow the child to sleep or nap while bottle feeding as it can also lead to the tooth cavity.

  1. Consider Getting Dental Sealants and Crowns

Pediatric dental crowns and sealants address the same problem differently. Dental sealants are used on permanent teeth and act as a shield. According to the CDC, children who don’t have dental sealants are twice as likely to develop dental cavities than those who wear them. Dental sealants are used on the molars and premolars to protect against decay, and they last for nine years.

Pediatric dental crowns are used on the primary teeth to prevent dental caries. The crowns can also be used as a cavity filling. These dental fixtures fall off with the primary teeth.

It is crucial to have the sealants and crowns assessed by a dentist regularly for any cracks. Tiny chips on the crowns and sealants will provide an environment for bacteria to fester, increasing the risk of decay (the very problem you are trying to prevent).

Take Away

Children are prone to developing cavities because of ineffective brushing techniques and consumption of sugar. The good news is the cavities can be prevented when you work with your pediatric dentist. Visit Drs. Ellis, Green, and Jenkins in Columbia for more information on how to maintain your child’s oral health.