One of the most exciting moments for new parents is the day your child’s first tooth appears. It’s a special milestone and the beginning of many more healthy teeth to come! Though baby teeth may not be around forever, it’s essential to protect your child’s teeth and gums early, which can help your son or daughter establish positive oral hygiene practices that carry all the way through adulthood.
Tooth decay and cavities are not just a problem that adults deal with. In fact, reports show that 42% of children ages 2 to 11 develop a cavity in their primary teeth. Tooth decay is the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood. While these figures are concerning, there are some very simple steps you can take to be proactive in preventing cavities and tooth decay in your children. With Dakota Dental, you’ll never be left in the dark when it comes to your family’s oral health care needs, because we work to ensure you feel well-equipped and supported from your very first visit.
What Causes Cavities in Children?
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth creates acids from the sugars in the food you eat. Simply put, cavities happen when bacteria and food left on the teeth after eating are not brushed away. Acid collects on a tooth, softening its enamel until a hole- or cavity- forms. So, what’s the best remedy to help prevent cavities? Brushing your teeth!
Experts recommend taking your baby to the dentist for his or her first dental visit before your child turns one.3 But even before then, it’s essential that you incorporate other healthy teeth cleaning into your child’s daily routine.
How to Prevent Cavities in Children
- Before teeth start poking through the gums, gently clean your baby’s gums after feedings, using a soft, moist washcloth
- Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup filled with anything other than water. Sugars from juice, formula, or milk can stay on a baby’s teeth for hours, eating away at the enamel4
- Before the age of two, use a smear of fluoride toothpaste on a soft toothbrush specifically designed for babies. After the age of three, you can increase to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
- Get your children excited to brush their teeth by using a kid-friendly toothpaste with their favorite cartoon characters on the tube
- Help your children brush their teeth within 20 minutes after eating. Each brushing should last at least two minutes
- Incorporate music during teeth brushing. Let your child choose the song. This will make your son or daughter feel in control of his or her own dental health. And there are many great teeth brushing songs out there that can become part of your new night brushing routine.
Filling Cavities for Children with Care
Dakota Dental is here for you, even during these unprecedented times. COVID-19 has not compromised our mission of incorporating holistic care for your entire family. We’ve updated our wellness center to help our patients and team practice safe social distancing, as well as implemented new policies to help prevent the spread of illnesses.
As always, creating a safe, comfortable environment for you and loved ones is our top priority. To schedule an appointment at our wellness center, fill out our online form or give us a call at (952)431-5774. We look forward to helping you and your family achieve brilliant smiles for years!