As a parent, you want to encourage your child to maintain optimal dental health. Poor oral health can result in a multitude of lasting problems, and the process of getting cavities filled can be harrowing for children. In addition to regular visits to a pediatric dentist, follow these three tips to help your kids fight cavities.
1. Have Your Child Fitted with Sealants
Sealants coat your child's molars with a thin, protective barrier layer. This layer helps keep food particles from settling into tiny, hard-to-brush areas of your child's teeth. The sealants can last for up to 10 years.
Though sealants are usually applied to adult teeth, they can also be used on baby teeth if your dentist finds this to be appropriate. Your dentist may suggest sealants for baby teeth if the teeth appear prone to tooth decay.
The process to apply sealants is quick, painless, and often covered by your dental insurance.
2. Minimize Sticky Snacks
Sticky snacks often masquerade as healthier options to candy. However, they like to stick to the teeth rather than be washed away by your child's saliva. Since sticky snacks often have levels of sugar, when they stay on your child's teeth, they are a breeding ground for plaque.
Limit fruit snacks and dried fruit, including raisins. When your children do enjoy these treats, make sure they thoroughly brush their teeth and floss after eating to remove all of the sticky particles.
Instead of sticky snacks, have your child consume fresh fruit instead. Fresh fruit has no added sugar and contains valuable vitamins and minerals.
3. Encourage Regular Meal and Snack Times
If your kids have large appetites, they may want to constantly eat and drink throughout the day. However, it is much better for their oral health to have set meal and snack times.
Kids who constantly eat and drink keep their teeth bathed in food particles and liquids. Constantly having food or drink on the teeth creates conditions ideal for tooth decay and the formation of cavities.
Instead, have your kids eat at designated times. Afterward, have them take a couple minutes to brush their teeth.
To keep children properly hydrated without sacrificing their dental health, encourage kids to drink water or beverages that are low in sugar. Also, promote the use of straws. Using a straw helps keep the beverage off their teeth.
It only takes a few simple changes to help your child maintain a high level of dental health. Choosing the right snacks, encouraging proper eating habits, and utilizing preventative measures all promote a cavity-free environment. Consult a pediatric dentist for more ideas.