4 Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities in Your Preschooler

Dentist Blog

Children are more predisposed to get cavities or early tooth decay because their milk teeth aren't as strong as permanent teeth and their oral hygiene habits aren't very strong without adult intervention. This article offers some tips to ensure your preschooler's teeth stay healthy, because only them will they stand the best chance of growing healthy permanent teeth.

1. Oral hygiene

Bacteria in the mouth depend on leftover food scraps for food, which they take in to produce acids. These acids weaken the tooth enamel and can cause cavities and tooth decay. Ensure your toddler brushes their teeth at least twice every day with fluoride toothpaste, which is excellent for preventing tooth decay. Children below 8 years of age should be assisted to brush properly. You can brush first, then allow them to finish.

However, take care to prevent fluorosis by using pea-size smears and ensuring they spit it out as soon as they're old enough to spit. You can invest in toothpaste made especially for your child's age, which has less fluoride that poses less danger when swallowed. Your dentist may recommend fluoride tablets or gel for the child if he/she isn't getting enough fluoride.

2. Diet

Most bottled water brands don't have the amounts of fluoride required to fight tooth decay. If you only take bottled water, talk to your dentist about getting additional fluoride varnishes, gels or tablets.

Children like sugary foods, but these provide the perfect substrates to make acid and escalate decay or formation of cavities. Therefore, watch how much sugar the child eats, and discontinue night-time juice or milk bottles. This applies even if you're giving fresh fruit juice, as the sugars will be processed the same way. The child shouldn't eat anything after brushing. In addition, limit snacking between meals to allow saliva in the mouth to wash away any food scraps allowing the enamel to harden again.

3. Dental sealants

Sealant is a thin plastic cost that is painted on the molars' chewing surface. Molars have rough/uneven surfaces with grooves and pits where food can hide. Food particles can easily get stuck here, and toothbrush bristles may not always be able to reach in. this is why cavities most often develop from the back teeth. Talk to your dentist about installing sealant in your child's molars once they come out.

4. Dental procedures

Finally, if your child has specific dental issues that are in treatment, you must take extra care to ensure they adhere to the therapy. For instance, if they have braces, help them to brush and floss properly to prevent plaque buildup and eventual decay. You may want to hold off on orthodontic treatment, however, until the child is old enough to keep up with the rigorous hygiene requirements.


14 December 2017

Unraveling Dental Myths about Children: A Blog for Parents

When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.