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How to Make Sure Your Kids Stay Cavity Free

February 16, 2016
Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann
young boy brushing teeth

As a parent, hearing that your child has a cavity can be difficult. No one wants to have their child go through any dental procedure at a young age. And yet, there are still many things parents don’t know about how to keep their kids cavity free. Here are a few ways to make sure your kids stay cavity free.

Start When They're Young

Even before your little one has teeth, you should be cleaning their gums with a washcloth every night. This will get your child used to the routine right off the bat, and keep their gums healthy while their teeth begin to erupt.

Don't Put Them to Bed with a Bottle

Major harm can be done to a baby’s teeth when they are exposed to sugars for prolonged periods of time. Juice and sweetened water are definite no-nos, and even milk and formula can be harmful if they aren’t washed away after a feeding.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste When They Get Their First Molars

At around 18 months, your child will start to get their first molars. This is a good time to go from non-fluoridated toothpaste to a toothpaste designed for kids that has fluoride. Use a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush.

Get Them Excited about Brushing and Flossing

Browse YouTube for videos and songs from their favorite characters about brushing their teeth. Look around for games that might get them excited to brush their teeth twice every day.

Milk or Water is Best

Do you best to only offer your kids milk or water. Save the juice for special occasions. And even then, look into the amount of sugar these drinks have (it’s a lot). Not only is all that extra sugar bad for teeth, but it’s also bad for overall health.

Limit Sticky Foods

Hard candies, gummy bears, fruit snacks, and much more can wreak havoc on a child’s teeth. Even the gummy bear vitamins should be used as special treats rather than an everyday snack.

Make sure they visit the dentist regularly
Starting at age 2 (and even earlier!) your child should be getting a check-up at the dentist every six months. Even if the dentist isn’t able to perform a full cleaning, starting early will help give your child a good relationship with their dentist and reduce any fear that could develop.

Have Your Dentist Give Them Sealants

Dental sealants are a thin coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. The sealant bonds to the teeth, and helps protect the enamel from food and bacteria. Ask your dentist about getting sealants if they don’t offer it to you first. It’s a quick and painless process, and it helps keep teeth healthy.

Help them with Brushing until They can Tie Their Shoes

Kids don’t have the ability to brush their teeth by themselves until they are about six years old. No matter how many times they tell you they can do it themselves, make sure you help them brush their teeth up until that point.

Lead by Example

Your child watches everything you do. If they notice you brushing and flossing they will want to follow your example and do the same. Make oral health a priority in your household, and keep your kids cavity free!

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