3 Steps to Make Sure Cavities Never Happen
Prevention & Treatment Though many think of cavities as a “normal” part of growing up, the truth is that cavities really shouldn’t be happening.
6 Ways to Crush the Brush Battle
Here are 6 quick ways to make your morning and evening toothbrushing routine a little more fun:
- Play a song. Identify a fun, upbeat song that is about two minutes long. Start brushing when the song begins and keep going until the end.
- Brush together. When it is time for children to brush their teeth, brush with them. They’ll have more fun and learn better technique by watching you.
- Have a sibling sing-a-long. Have one child sing the first two verses of a song while the other brushes. When one child is done singing, it’s their turn to brush.
- Download an app. Several free toothbrushing apps include timers and fun games that encourage children to brush for the full two minutes.
- Make a brush chart. Make a monthly brush chart that rewards your child with a sticker for every time they brush. When their brush chart is complete, reward them with a prize.
- Let your child choose his or her own toothbrush. Next time you’re at the store, let your child choose a toothbrush. A favorite cartoon character may be just the thing you need to help you win the brush battle.
With 60 percent of children affected by tooth decay by age five, it’s easy to believe that cavities are just a normal part of life. But tooth decay, especially in children, can be prevented by developing positive oral health behaviors from an early age. Here are three simple steps you can take to ensure your child enjoys a lifetime of good oral health:
1. Make dental visits a priority
While most parents would never miss their child’s medical appointments, dental visits are often delayed or skipped completely. Visit a pediatric dentist once every six months, starting at age one or when teeth first begin to erupt, to ensure any identified problems are quickly resolved.
2. Commit to regular home care
Daily brushing and flossing go a long way in preventing cavities in children. Brush for two minutes, twice per day, with a fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before bed. Floss at least once per day.
3. Make water your drink of choice
Sipping juice, soda or other sugary beverages throughout the day produces acid that can severely damage children’s teeth. Make water your child’s default beverage, limiting other drinks to mealtimes only. Never send a baby or toddler to bed with anything other than water in their bottle.
Cavities should be the exception to the rule, not the norm. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy can help them avoid painful cavities, dangerous infections, sleeplessness and an array of other serious health consequences. Taking a moment to evaluate your daily routines can make all the difference in ensuring your child has a happy, healthy smile.