We know parents have their hands full. Between soccer practice, homework, and healthy snacks, it can be difficult to perfectly balance your children’s lives. However, by simply correcting some common mistakes parents make with their kids’ dental hygiene, you can prevent adding “Get Cavities Filled” to your To-Do List.
Are cavities really a common problem among children? According to a recent report on Fox News, “forty-two percent of children ages 2 to 11 have had cavities in their baby teeth.” Take a look at some of these routine, easily fixable, dental hygiene mistakes.
1. Packing “Healthy” Fruits and Sports Drinks
While most parents avoid giving kids soda, they don’t realize “healthy” juice and sports drinks are still full of citric acid that eats away at teeth. Water is always a good alternative, and milk’s calcium and Vitamin D are also great for teeth. Also, be careful about sticky, sugary foods, like dried fruit and bananas. Starchy foods, like whole grain pasta or oatmeal, convert to sugar on the teeth as well. Chewable vitamins also erode enamel. Make sure your child brushes or at least swishes with water after having vitamins.
2. Giving an All-Day Snack-Pass
If your child must have juice or snacks, make sure he or she doesn’t have access all day. Giving your toddler a sippy cup or bottle full of juice means their teeth never get a break from the sugar-wash. Let your child have juice and snacks at specific times, then encourage them to brush their teeth afterwards. Pack a water bottle for school, which will stimulate saliva flow and help wash bacteria away.
3. Letting Your Kids Brush Without Help
Kids are far more likely to brush correctly if a parent is in the room with them. After all, brushing can seem tedious to a child who wants to hurry back to playing. Take the time to practice brushing with your child, teaching proper techniques to protect against cavities. Kids should brush for at least two minutes, covering all surfaces of their teeth, mouth, and tongue. Make sure they’re flossing, too! Cavities are most likely to form in the spaces where teeth touch–precisely where flossing reaches best!
4. Not Visiting Your Family Dentist Enough
It’s easy to procrastinate on your child’s bi-annual dentist visit, but these appointments are vital for the health of your child’s developing teeth, gums, and jaw. Your family dentist will provide professional teeth cleaning and plaque removal–but did you know that’s only the beginning of what a dentist does during a routine visit? Here are just a few important reasons to visit your dentist. Dentists can:
- Catch tooth decay early to prevent severe cavities.
- Apply sealants and fluoride to protect and strengthen your child’s teeth.
- Check for abnormalities in your child’s oral development.
- Discover early signs of oral cancer.
A dentist appointment is just as important as regular doctor visits during your child’s formative years and can help prevent a future need for oral corrective surgeries and procedures.
Visit Beavers Caring Family Dentistry in Cary Every Six Months
Our experienced dentists and hygienists have been helping kids’ smiles shine for years. We offer a caring, gentle environment, designed to help even young children feel comfortable and safe. Come visit us for your child’s next professional teeth-cleaning and fluoride treatment! Schedule an appointment online or call (919) 467-0654 today.