Though they may not be permanent, your child’s baby teeth are critical for their development. These teeth help your child develop good chewing and speech mechanisms, and they even ensure that their permanent teeth have a pathway to grow into. Therefore, it is so critical that we protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay. Here are five steps you can take to fight cavities right from the beginning.
1. Keep up with their brushing and flossing routines.
The most effective way to keep your child from getting cavities is to help them maintain a good oral healthcare routine. Brushing and flossing from an early age is critical for removing plaque, bacteria, and sugar from their teeth. There are many toothbrushes on the market for young children. However, if their teeth are still too little or not yet erupted, you can try wiping off their gums with a clean damp cloth.
2. Schedule a dentist appointment for them by their first birthday.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should have their first dentist appointment no later than their first birthday. Studies have shown that children who received dental treatment twice a year from the age of 1 were four times less likely to have dental decay in their baby teeth.
3. Keep an eye on their sugar intake.
The bacteria on your child’s teeth feed on sugar. Then, they excrete corrosive acids that wear away your child’s dental enamel. To halt this vicious cycle, it is highly recommended that you limit your child’s consumption of sweets. However, if you allow them to indulge every once in a while, just know that the frequency and duration of their sugar intake is actually more important than the total quantity. For example, if they take a whole day to eat a slice of cake, it is actually worse for their teeth than if they were to devour it in one sitting. Eating sugar quickly gives their mouth time to produce saliva that cleans off their teeth before the bacteria begin to do their damage.
4. Avoid overexposure to sugary drinks.
When drinking liquids such as juice, formula, or breast milk, your child’s teeth are soaking in sugars that lead to dental decay. As mentioned above, extended exposure to sugars is more harmful than the actual amount of liquid taken in. Therefore, the AAPD suggests that you wean your child from a bottle by 14 months, and avoid allowing your child to sleep with a bottle of sugary liquids in their crib. This will help your child to avoid prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, and therefore lessen their chances of tooth decay.
5. Check their fluoride.
If your town’s water supply is not fluoridated, it’s possible that they’re not receiving the recommended amount of fluoride to protect their teeth, particularly because it is children under the age of 3 should not brush with fluoridated toothpaste. To help boost their fluoride, talk with your dentist at Aurora Dental Group to see if fluoride supplements may be right for your child.
Want to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment? Call Aurora Dental Group today!