A smart combination of at-home and professional care goes a long way in helping your kids avoid cavities throughout life. Establishing this two-part care routine should start in the toddler years and continue through adulthood. You can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities by utilizing the five following tips for great oral care.
Create a Solid Brushing and Flossing Schedule
Starting with the arrival of the first tooth, you must help your child establish a smart brushing and flossing schedule. To adequately prevent cavities, it is important to brush for two minutes at least twice a day. You can have your child floss before brushing, and once age appropriate, swish with mouthwash to finish the oral care routine.
Practice Effective At-Home Oral Care Techniques
Randomly brushing the teeth without a clear care plan often results in missed spots that are susceptible to the formation of cavities. Teach your child to brush all sides of the teeth by focusing on a single quadrant of the mouth every 30 seconds. Remind your child to brush in circles using light pressure to remove plaque deposits and leftover food from the nooks and crannies between the teeth, especially around tightly-spaced molars.
Use Fluoride to Protect Teeth from Decay
Starting at age three, have your child switch to a toothpaste product that contains fluoride. Only use a pea-sized amount of paste and remind your child to spit out the remainder after brushing. Once your child reliably avoids swallowing the toothpaste, usually around age six, you can add a fluoride mouthwash to the at-home oral care routine. Practitioners well-versed in dentistry for kids can apply a coating of fluoride to the teeth at every checkup to add a layer of protection to the enamel.
Acquire Dental Sealants for the Molars
The crevices on top of the molars are notoriously difficult to clean, even with the best at-home care practices. Therefore, dentists often recommend the placement of sealant along the top surfaces of the molars. The sealant fills in the deepest part of the crevices to keep food debris and bacteria from infiltrating those spaces. Once the sealant is applied, it remains in place for up to 10 years.
Schedule Checkups and Cleanings Every Six Months
A vital part of preventing cavities is attending dental checkups and cleanings every six months, if not more frequently. A dentist for children will help you establish a good professional cleaning and exam schedule by assessing the needs of your child’s teeth. In addition to cleaning off plaque deposits that may have been missed while brushing at home, the cleaning process allows dentists to check for developing problems and provide early treatment.
By utilizing all five of the practices above, you can adequately protect your child’s teeth from the formation of harmful cavities. Furthermore, helping your child establish a great at-home and professional oral care routine will help engrain this habit for lasting oral health through the adult years. To make a dental checkup and cleaning appointment for your child, call Nia Pediatric Dentistry at 770-479-9999.