Yeah, none of us like them (not even the dentist who has to deal with them).
If this is true (and I know it is), then we have to be proactive about preventing them. Dental cavities a.k.a. tooth decay affects our health and is also super painful to repair; in adults and children as well. This is why as an adult, you must continually teach your kids about oral health and hygiene.
How Common Are Dental Cavities in Children?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a 2010 report, showed how dental cavities are a chronic oral health disease- up to five times as common as asthma in children. As a matter of fact, over half of the nation’s kids have cavities by the time they’re in third grade; and in Wisconsin, 33% of kids aged 3-4 years have filled cavities. These statistics prove the endemic nature of dental cavities, for which we have to find solutions, fast!
Tips for Preventing Dental Cavities in Children
You don’t want your baby having dental cavities, do you? According to Dr. Urszula Barrios, children’s tooth decay is even more serious; as it has the tendency of easily spreading through the body, leading to widespread infections that are difficult to treat.
However, early childhood cavities are preventable (really good news!); tips to help us handle this menace as soon as possible, include:
1Oral Hygiene for Mothers’: An Essential Step
A baby’s first role model is his/her mother, naturally. Therefore, mothers and pregnant women need to ensure their own mouths are healthy- by having professional dental examinations and practicing good daily oral hygiene. This could include the usage of organic toothpaste twice daily and helps to reduce the transmission of cavity germs between mothers and their newborns/infants.
2Oral Training for Kids
Train your baby to get used to only water or breast milk/formula, rather than giving in to the temptation to put in soda, juice or sweetened drinks into their feeding bottles until the child is at least a year old. By this time, encourage your child to sip from a cup, and then, only very little doses of anything other than water or breast milk.
Also, provide healthy snacks for your kids and encourage them to take colorful fruits and vegetables.
3Dip Not the Pacifier in Sweet Things
If your child uses a pacifier, I’m sure you’ve more than once, been tempted to dip it in something sweet such as sugar or honey. That’s not right; because you’re making the child crave for stuff that might end up causing tooth decay if the child consistently takes them.
Another common trait seen in parents is cleaning pacifiers with their own mouths before transferring it to the child’s mouth. By doing this, you make the child stand at risk of developing cavities, due to cavity-causing germs being transferred. The best thing to do is to clean the pacifier with hot water and soap, rinsing it thoroughly after it has fallen to the ground.
4Wipe the Gums Daily Before the Appearance of Teeth
Before your baby’s teeth start to appear, you can gently wipe inside the mouth and gums daily. In particular, this should be done after feeding and before bed, using a warm, clean piece of cloth.
5Brush Twice Daily as Soon as Teeth Appear
Brush your baby’s teeth twice daily as soon as the first tooth appears, with a soft toothbrush and very little fluoridated toothpaste; increasing the amount of toothpaste to pea-sized in 2-5-year-olds.
Your child’s teeth are precious and should be protected from the damning consequences of dental cavities. Use the above tips to help nurture healthy teeth. Check SmileTwice for more information on dental health and oral hygiene.