Stop Your Preschooler’s Cavities Before They Start
Preschoolers are at risk of developing cavities, so tooth decay prevention should be part of every parent’s focus during these important early years. Preventing cavities in children takes diligent oral hygiene, attention to eating habits, and regular professional dental care. The most important part of a child’s dental care routine is brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily to clean between teeth where plaque collects and causes tooth enamel to break down. When kids are old enough to brush their teeth without accidentally swallowing toothpaste, they should begin learning to brush on their own.
Control Sugar Consumption. Sugary snacks should only be allowed in strict moderation. Parents should not allow young children to fall asleep with a bottle at bedtime. Acids from juice or milk that sits inside the mouth eat away at tooth enamel and can damage both primary and adult teeth.
The Purpose of Fluoride. The fluoride added to municipal water sources works internally to protect developing teeth before they erupt. Fluoride in dental products works topically to strengthen teeth that have already appeared. Both fluoride sources are important. If you don’t have access to water with added fluoride, ask your dentist about fluoride supplements.
Dental Sealants . Children who have teeth with deeply grooved molars that tend to trap food particles may benefit from tooth sealants. Sealants are clear or colored coatings applied to the grooved and pitted chewing surfaces of teeth to protect them from decay caused by plaque. Because they cover the areas where most cavities begin, sealants can be a powerful weapon against them.
Preventing Cavities in Baby Teeth. Cavities in primary teeth should usually be filled. If decay becomes extensive and the tooth is lost, it may cause spacing problems that affect permanent teeth. Schedule dental check-ups twice a year when all baby teeth have appeared. If you see signs of tooth decay, or a baby tooth darkens, see your dentist in Abingdon immediately.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Abingdon, call Dental One Associates of Bel Air today at (410) 698-1674 or make an appointment.