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According to ADA (American Dental Association), tooth decay isn’t a problem that only affects adults. Tooth decay in children is a concern for parents because 42 percent of children ages 2 to 11 develop a cavity in their primary teeth, reports the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Nearly 28 percent of children ages 2 to 5 develop at least one cavity. This may lead a parent to wonder what causes tooth decay, how to prevent it and how to treat it.

Nobody likes to deal with cavities. “It truly breaks my heart to see young children developing multiple tooth decay and having to go through dental procedures,” according to Dr. Stella Oh who has two toddler of her own. Tooth decay not only affects your overall health, but it can be uncomfortable to repair. The same happens for children. As a parent, if you don’t teach your children the importance of proper dental care, they could face some very uncomfortable dental problems for life. To protect your child’s oral health, it is essential to understand the best ways to prevent dental cavities in children.

Here are some tips from Dr. Stella Oh to help parents like you reduce cavity for your beloved children.

  1. Daily Oral Hygiene – Get your children to understand the importance of routine dental care: at least twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing (for older children with mixed dentition). They should understand why they need to take care of their teeth.

  2. Avoid sweets and starchy foods. This one is difficult especially when your kids are throwing tantrums when they can’t eat their favorite desserts or sweets. Consumption of these foods increases the level of acid-eroding plaque in the mouth. If your child eats a lot of sugary or starchy foods, try to swap these foods for healthier items, like fruits and vegetables. Teach your child to rinse water and then brush after every meal and snack when possible. Always offer the little one’s vegetables and fruits first before the sweets.

  3. Increase intake of crisp, high fiber water-dense fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables high in water help keep your child’s mouth hydrated. Crisp vegetables like celery, carrots, and peppers increase production of saliva, inhibiting bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Fibers in these can mechanically remove plaque on the teeth. Avoid fruits that are high in sugar like mango and pineapple.

  4. Avoid sugary beverages, like soda and juice drinks. This is not only good for your children’s teeth but their total health as well. Most of them have no nutritional value and spikes up the blood sugar and predisposing our kids to type 2 diabetes.

  5. Drinking plenty of water every day, throughout the day, is one of the most effortless habits for preventing dental cavities in children. In general, water can flush bacteria from the mouth and prevent acid from building up on the teeth.

  6. Avoid sticky sugary foods such as gummy bear, caramel, or taffy. These can be difficult to remove from the teeth and contribute to the acid formation and rapid tooth decay. One commonly mistaken for healthy food is dried fruits such as raisins, dried apples, and bananas. Dried fruits, no matter how nutritious it can be, are the one of the worst to eat for your teeth. They are acidic with a dense form of fruit sugar that does not get washed away for several minutes.

  7. Make routine visits to the family dentist a priority. Your child should begin seeing the family dentist as soon as his or her first tooth emerges and continue twice a year for life. Positive early experience with dental visits at early years of their life will positively impact on their dental health. Dental phobia may occur when the children develop cavity and experienced a difficult procedure. Regular dental visits by a caring, experienced dentist along great home oral hygiene routine will help your child to have healthy teeth for life.

Thank you for reading and call us today if you have any questions or want to make an appointment with Madison Avenue Dentists!

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