How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children
Posted on 04/18/2018
This is the image for the news article titled How to Prevent Tooth Decay in ChildrenEveryone only ever gets one smile in their life, which is why it’s so important to help your kids establish a strong foundation for their future with good oral health. A healthy smile will make sure that they have bright, radiant smiles throughout their life, but it will also keep the rest of their bodies healthy with a lower risk of heart disease and infections much later down the road. One of the key elements to helping your kids maintain a healthy smile is preventing the development of tooth decay. 

Tooth decay is when food particles build up on the teeth to form plaque, which will mix with the bacteria in the mouth to create acid that will eat away at the teeth. Early stages of tooth decay can be treated with fillings, but if tooth decay is allowed to persist and advance to later stages, your kids may suffer from gum disease and other severe dental problems that could lead to tooth loss later in life. To help you protect your kids from these serious issues, Dr. Christian Johnson and our dental team have put together this guide on the best ways to prevent tooth decay in your kids.

Stop Bad Habits In Their Tracks

A large part about being a kid is discovering the world around you, and for babies, that means discovering how their body works. That’s why you often see babies develop habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting early on. These habits are harmless while they are young, and should naturally stop by the age of 4 or 5. However, if these habits persist past that age, they start to negatively influence their oral development, which can result in orthodontic issues like an open bite. Having an abnormal bite can increase the risk of dental issues too, including uneven wear on certain teeth or increased difficulty with oral hygiene.
To help your kids drop these habits if they persist past that age range of 4 and 5, you can offer positive reinforcement if they stop, make them feel more comfortable to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Instill Good Oral Hygiene Habits

A daily routine of brushing and flossing is essential for keeping the teeth clear of food particles and bacteria that could turn into corrosive plaque and tartar. To help your kids keep their smiles healthy, start teaching them good oral hygiene habits right away. Set a good example by brushing and flossing along with them, and teach them proper technique to ensure that they clean all the hard to reach areas. You can even make the routine into a fun game or competition, helping your kids get motivated and excited when it comes time to brush and floss. The more they practice these good oral hygiene habits when they’re young, the more likely it is that they’ll carry it on into their adult life.

Limit Sugary Food & Drinks

The acid that causes tooth decay as created when the bacteria in our mouth feeds on sugar particles that come from the food and drinks that we consume. With things that are high in sugar, such as soda or candy, that means that the bacteria has even more sugar to feed on to create even more acid. That’s why sugary food and drinks are so notorious for causing tooth decay. While many kids have an insatiable sweet tooth, it’s recommended that you do your best to limit or manage their sugar intake to reduce the amount of acid that’s eating away at their teeth until their next brushing.

Bring Them To The Dentist Regularly!

While a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine at home is great, bringing your kids to their regularly scheduled dental appointments with Dr. Johnson are still essential if you want them to have a healthy smile. At their check ups, we first check for any early signs of oral health issues like gingivitis or tooth decay, and determine if any kind of preventative treatment will be necessary. Then, we give your kids a deep teeth cleaning, which will clear away the plaque and tartar buildup that can’t be cleaned by a normal toothbrush.

Contact Us For More Helpful Dental Tips!

If you have any questions about the tooth decay prevention tips that we mentioned in this guide, or would like more information about how you can protect your kids from tooth decay, contact us at the dental office of Dr. Christian Johnson today! We proudly offer professional dental care to the families of Waldorf, Brandywine, and La Plata, MD so that your kids have a healthy smile that lasts for years to come. To schedule your child’s next appointment with us for a check up, just reach out to us by phone at 301-645-3230 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you and your family in our office soon!