Parents can count on cavity-causing toothaches to turn a child’s brilliant smile upside down. So why not take some simple steps to prevent them? Here are six cavity prevention tips to help your children.
1. Floss & Brush
We know we’re pointing out the obvious, but regularly flossing and brushing is crucial for warding off cavities. Children should floss before brushing to loosen food particles that get caught between their teeth, followed by brushing for two minutes at least twice per day.
Morning and evening teeth cleaning rituals may not be your children’s idea of fun, but you can certainly make it fun. Get creative by inventing a quirky game or teach them to hum a song while brushing. Sometimes keeping kids engaged can be as easy as using colourful toothbrushes or alternating fluoride toothpaste flavours.
2. Swish With Mouthwash
Mouthwash is less commonly used among children than adults, but it’s a good habit to form for ongoing cavity prevention. Fluoride-containing mouthwash offers added protection after flossing and brushing, and can easily kill bacteria throughout the day. The convenience of mouthwash allows children to “swish and spit” wherever they are, including home, school or extracurricular events.
Determining when your kids are ready to use mouthwash can be tricky. Experimenting with water is a recommended first step to ensure they’re able to swish and spit without swallowing any liquid. Then you can provide them with child-specific mouthwash to help prevent tooth decay.
3. Rinse With Water
One simple cavity prevention tip for children is to rinse their mouths with water after eating or drinking. It only takes two seconds and will help flush out some of the harmful, cavity-causing bacteria. Water also contains minerals teeth can use to repair enamel.
Rinsing with water is a beneficial alternative for children that are too young to use mouthwash. It’s also a practical option when they don’t have immediate access to a toothbrush or mouthwash.
(Have a questions about your child’s teeth? Chat with us now.)
4. Reduce Sugar & Starch Intake
Cavities are formed when bacteria use sugar and starch to produce acids, which eventually wear out enamel and cause holes to form in teeth. That means foods and drinks such as bread, cookies, candy, soda and juice increase the risk of cavity development. This likely isn’t news to you and it’s unrealistic to expect children to completely eliminate these types of items from their diet. However, simply reducing sugar and starch intake will improve your child’s overall oral health.
5. Eat More Teeth-Friendly Foods
Just as some foods hinder oral health, others help. Teeth-friendly foods are high in calcium, protein and vitamins that maintain the integrity of teeth and gums. Saliva-producing foods are also beneficial because saliva rinses away bacteria and food particles, reducing the risk of cavities. Here are a few teeth-friendly foods your kids will love:
- Leafy greens
6. Visit Your Dentist
Regular dental check ups and cleanings help identify early signs of cavity formation, as well as maintain oral health. Children can expect to learn more about how to protect their teeth during each visit so they can keep their pearly whites healthy and glowing.
At Design Dentistry, we recognize superb oral health through our Cavity Free Club. Children are awarded with certificates and entered into a monthly draw each time they complete a cavity-free check up. It’s our own little incentive for cavity prevention!
Are your children due for a check up? Our dedicated team believes in making every child’s dental experience a happy one.