Parents should know the causes and prevention of kids’ cavities. Learn some tips from Claremore children’s dentist, Ali Torabi DDS.
Sure, kids get cavities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has found that 42 percent of children ages 2 to 11 have had decay in one or more baby teeth. Surprised? What’s the cause of so much tooth decay? What can parents do to keep cavities at bay? Your Claremore children’s dentist has some suggestions.
Food is the culprit
While it’s true that some people, including kids, are more prone to tooth decay than others, much of decay originates in foods we eat. Kids in particular like sugary, sweet foods, and the carbs in those treats grow plaque on and between teeth.
Soft sticky plaque is the perfect medium for oral bacteria that secrete enamel-eating acids. When not removed with good daily brushing and flossing and by regular hygienic cleanings with Claremore dentist, Ali Torabi DMD, cavities inevitably form.
Besides eating starchy foods, babies and toddlers drink from baby bottles. What’s the problem with this tried and true feeding method? The issue surrounds when mom or dad gives junior a bottle. If a baby is put to bed with a bottle of milk to sooth her to sleep, milk accumulates along the gum line of the bottom front teeth–a common site of much infant and toddler tooth decay.
Poor hygiene is the culprit
Did you know that you should cleanse your baby’s mouth and gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad after each feeding and especially as he or she begins eating baby food? Then, as teeth come in, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush those young teeth twice daily.
To ensure young kids, 3 to 10, are brushing properly, supervise them. Make sure they are brushing for the full 2 minutes recommended by the American Dental Association. (This is a good practice for mom and dad, too.) Floss your kids teeth for them until they achieve good manual dexterity–around age 10.
More ways to prevent cavities
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Kids must drink a lot of water. Water encourages saliva production, nature’s own tooth cleanser. Ask kids to stop at the school water fountain after lunch to get a good drink of water. Tap water has the benefit of added fluoride, too.
Also, encourage a healthy diet. Fibrous fruits and vegetables scrape teeth clean, and high fiber breads, low fat meats and dairy make for strong enamel and slim waistlines, too. Parents should model healthy eating habits for their kids.
Lastly, Dr. Torabi likes to see his youngest patients by the time that first baby tooth erupts. This initial visit gets the child used to the sights and sounds of the dental office and helps with future visits. After age 3, professional exams and cleanings every 6 months are the rule to check for decay, gum disease and proper tooth development and alignment. Dr. Torabi offers dental sealants and fluoride treatments to help prevent decay.
Learn more about kids and cavities
Dr. Torabi and his staff enjoy teaching kids and parents the best way to take care of their teeth and gums. Why not set up your routine exam and cleaning appointments now by contacting Flawless Smile Dentistry?