Most parents know that brushing their kids teeth twice a day is important for dental health. Most also know that going to the dentist twice a year is important. But, here are a few things parents may not know:
Cavities are on the Rise! According to the Center for Disease control almost half of children ages 2-11 have cavities on their baby teeth. Over 20% of children over 6 years old have had them on permanent teeth.
Here are some tips to make sure your child does not get tooth decay.
1. It is important to floss baby teeth. We all know it is important to floss daily to take care of permanent teeth. It is equally important to floss your child’s baby teeth. If baby teeth touch each other, food and bacteria can get caught and cause cavities.
2. Don’t let your kids brush alone! Parents need to supervise children until at least the age of 8 years old to be sure that they are thoroughly cleaning all of their teeth.
3. Putting a baby to bed with a bottle can cause cavities. Whether its a bottle at night or a sippy cup of milk all day long, its coating your child’s teeth in sugar. If you are giving your child a bottle at night it is important to clean their teeth before they go to sleep. Their sippy cup should contain water to sip on during the day.
4. Healthy foods can still cause cavities. Bananas, raisins, and crackers seem like good snack choices, but all of these contain sugars that sit in the pits of the teeth. These foods are better eaten at meal times than at snack time. It is the frequency of sugar that will cause cavities, not the amount.
5. Fluoride toothpaste strengthens the teeth. Although fluoride is controversial, experts agree that it is one of the best ways to prevent cavities. Fluoride is now being recommended by the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics for children under three years old. Be sure to ask your dentist for the guidelines.