Too many children develop cavities. How many? Over 40% of children between two and 11 years of age have cavities. Cavities are a predictable consequence of many children’s sugary diets and snacking habits. When sugary liquids and food particles remain in your child’s too long, those sugars fuel the growth of bacteria. Those bacteria produce acid that eats away at tooth enamel and tissue. As that enamel and tooth tissue is eaten away, cavities are left behind.
Predictable as the development of cavities may be in children, those cavities are entirely preventable. While cavities can undermine the appearance of your child’s smile, expose your child to potentially stressful dental treatment, and contribute to lost confidence and self-esteem, all those negative impacts of cavities can be avoided. Here’s how.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your child’s baby teeth
Yes, those baby teeth are going to fall out eventually. The timing of those teething falling out is important, though. They’ll fall out exactly when the teeth and jaw are ready. A tooth that falls out early because of serious cavities and tooth decay can cause future problems. While temporary, those baby teeth define the path that your child’s future permanent teeth will follow. If your child loses teeth prematurely due to tooth decay, those later permanent teeth may not come in straight. And you know what that might mean — orthodontic work.
Show your children how to brush and floss
We mean the word “show” in the broadest possible sense. Show your child how to brush their teeth thoroughly and carefully after every time that they eat. Show them also how to floss between and around every tooth once a day. But do more than just teach your child how to brush and floss.
Model excellent oral and dental care habits by brushing your own teeth every time you eat, and by flossing daily. Don’t be shy about talking about your own dental care habits and even brushing and flossing together. As parents, you are the best model and example of ideal oral and dental care. On the other hand, a child who watches parents ignore their teeth is a child more likely to develop cavities that will need to be filled.
Have your child’s teeth cleaned
If a pediatric dentist near you has an opportunity to clean your child’s teeth twice a year, you can be sure that all accumulated plaque and tartar are removed before they can contribute to cavities and even gum disease. Cleanings by a dentist in Vaughan will remove plaque left behind even after your child’s best efforts to brush and floss.
Applying dental sealants
When it comes to pediatric dentistry in Vaughan, your dentist has more options available to protect your child’s teeth than they may have had when it came to your own teeth as children. Dentists can seal children’s teeth with a plastic-like material to prevent cavities from developing. Typically, dental sealant is applied to the deep ridges in a child’s molars. In just minutes, your child’s teeth will be protected from direct contact with food and substances that can contribute to cavities.
A pediatric dentist near you can boost the strength of your child’s tooth enamel and ability to resist tooth decay by applying fluoride treatments. With the benefit of fluoride treatment, healthy enamel can better resist the acids that produce plaque and, eventually, tartar, tooth decay, and cavities that will need to be filled.
Consider having your pediatric dentist prepare a custom-fit mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth from injury if they participate in sports. While the mouthguard won’t directly prevent cavities, it will protect the teeth from tiny cracks and chips that can expose the interior of a tooth and make it more vulnerable to decay and eventual cavities.
Do you have a pediatric dentist in Vaughan to support the health and development of your child’s teeth? If you are looking for a dentist or just some advice and support about how to take care of your child’s teeth, reach out to a pediatric dentist near you.