At Schaenfield Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to help our patients keep their teeth healthy, strong, and cavity-free with education and preventive care. Do you know what can increase your child’s risk of cavities? Knowledge is power. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of four things that can increase your child’s risk for cavities. With this information, you’ll be better equipped to help your child establish and maintain oral health habits that will protect your child from tooth decay.
- Misconception About Baby Teeth
- Inconsistent Dental Hygiene
- Infrequent Dental Visits
- Sugary Snacks & Drinks
Many parents don’t realize that baby teeth require a great oral hygiene routine, just like adult teeth. It’s a common misconception that baby teeth don’t need regular cleaning since they’re destined to fall out. In reality, early and consistent care for baby teeth sets your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. For one, healthy baby teeth help protect the underlying permanent teeth from damage. Premature loss of baby teeth due to decay can harm your child’s oral development. Additionally, teaching kids to care for their dental health means they’re more likely to stick with these good habits as they grow up.
Neglecting daily oral hygiene creates an environment that encourages bacteria to thrive, which leads to bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. Begin caring for your child’s oral health every day, even before they have teeth! Gently massage and clean their gums with a damp soft wash cloth. Graduate to a soft-bristled toothbrush when their first tooth emerges. Until age three, use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Between three and six years old, use a pea-sized amount. Begin flossing as soon as they have two teeth touching. Depending on your child’s motor development and attention to detail, your child may need help brushing for the full two minutes, flossing, and cleaning their tongue until sometime between age six to nine.
If your child begins elementary school and has not seen a dentist, they’re at a greater risk for developing advanced tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child see a dentist by the emergence of their first tooth or around their first birthday, whichever comes first. Not seeing a dentist every six months after age one can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, the continuation of poor oral hygiene, and dental anxiety or fear. Here at Shaenfield Pediatric Dentistry, we will help put your kiddos at ease so they come to enjoy visiting the dentist!
Sugar feeds bad bacteria in the mouth, which produce acidic byproducts that lead to cavities. But sugar isn’t just in candy; sugar is in juice, soda, sports drinks, crackers, white bread, fruit snacks, and many of your child’s favorite processed snacks. Help your child consume a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Teach them to consume sweet treats and processed foods in moderation. Milk and water are the best drinks for kids’ teeth. Limit juice, or at least water it down, and avoid sports drinks.
Exceptional Dental Care for Kids in San Antonio, TX
Do you have more questions about how to help your child prevent cavities? We would be thrilled to discuss these and other pediatric dentistry tips. Or is it time to schedule your child’s checkup? Contact us today!