Preventing Cavities in Children
Overall health is linked to oral health, and it’s important to make sure kids are encouraged to take care of their teeth from a young age. As kids begin growing adult teeth and losing baby teeth, remind them that their adult teeth must last for the rest of their lives.
Over half of American children between the ages of 5 and 9 already have at least one cavity. You can help your child avoid cavities by encouraging twice-daily tooth brushing, frequent flossing, and reducing sugary food intake.
The 2 X 2 Rule
But how do you get kids to remember how long to brush? Have them follow the 2 X 2 rule! This rule means to brush twice a day for two minutes. It’s easy to remember 2 X 2, and Dr. Freano’s team makes sure to instruct our younger patients on how to brush and floss correctly.
Nowadays there are several toothpastes available that are great for kids, and you can also easily find timers to help make sure kids brush for the full two minutes. While that might not seem like a long time, this simple rule will strengthen enamel and set up young teeth for a healthy adult life.
Limiting Sugar Intake
Another key tool in the fight against tooth decay is limiting sugar intake. For many reasons, children should be encouraged to have a low-sugar diet. Too much sugar can feed bacteria in the mouth and lead to plaque build-up, which over time becomes more difficult to deal with.
If your child is especially prone to cavities or if you struggle with a low-sugar diet, you can talk to Dr. Freano about preventive sealants. This procedure will fill in pits and grooves on molar teeth to make them less favorable for mouth bacteria to settle and erode tooth enamel. This is particularly effective if your child has trouble reaching the back of the mouth with their toothbrush, which many kids do.
Tooth decay is especially prevalent among school-age children, and tooth-related illnesses account for 52 million school hours lost each year! To keep cavities at bay and promote good oral health, make sure you include a dental check-up on your back-to-school to-do list!