Did you have to watch your kids suffer with discomfort, last year, because of dental cavities? No parent wants to see his or her child in pain, much less when the cause of the discomfort is completely avoidable. Cavities can certainly be prevented, but it does require a diligent combination of healthy oral care, at home, and also routine dental checkups and cleanings. If you are serious about protecting your kids’ smiles, make sure you are heeding your pediatric dentist’s advice, about the best ways to prevent cavities and other oral health threats.
Teach Them to Crave Healthy Foods
One way to protect your kids’ smiles, and your own as well, is by serving healthy meals full of nutrient-rich ingredients, and low in sugar. The bacteria in the mouth feed upon sugars, so the more sugar your family is consuming on a regular basis, the more likely you are to struggle with dental cavities.
If your kids are in the habit of enjoying lots of sweets, help introduce healthier alternatives by swapping an afternoon cookie for some unsweetened yogurt, mixed with fresh fruit for natural, nutrient-rich sweetness. Or, skip the sugary cereal, in favor of unflavored oatmeal mixed with fresh fruit slices and spices, like cinnamon.
Over time, simple swaps like these can have a great impact on your kids’ overall health, and especially their smiles!
Make Sure They’re Brushing and Flossing
Daily brushing and flossing is also important to protecting smiles from dental decay. For kids old enough to tie their own shoes, they should have the dexterity to brush and floss on their own, with minimal supervision.
Until kids are old enough to brush alone, you can help them do so. In fact, as soon as a child’s first tooth erupts, it is time to begin gently brushing.
Take Them for Routine Checkups and Cleanings
After the age of one, every child should be seeing the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. That’s because preventive visits give your children’s general dentist a chance to check for any potential problems, such as early signs of enamel erosion, as well as to remove plaque buildup before it can lead to problems.