Healthy teeth are an important part of a child’s wellness, even from a very young age.
But even if your kids are really great at brushing and flossing, they may still get cavities.
How can you work to prevent cavities in your kids?
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, and Melanie Cole, MS, discuss five ways to avoid cavities, as well as how good oral health can help keep your children healthy and happy.
Moms (and dads) can pass on cavity-causing bacteria to their babies, even just by kissing them. So, before you even give birth, you should improve your dental hygiene by eliminating bacteria and getting regular checkups.
Don't snack or graze all day long; have one snack, rinse with some good, clean water, and move on! Many people think that the "sticky" foods such as taffy and gummy snacks are the worst for teeth, but carb-based foods like crackers can actually be worse as they tend to stick between teeth.
Start brushing a toddler's teeth beginning at one year old, twice a day, with a rice-grain sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride ("grown-up" toothpaste).
Encourage your kids to drink tap water. Water from the tap is typically fluoridated, which helps to protect tooth enamel.
Floss, floss, floss! And, as a parent, set that example... if your kids see you practicing good dental hygiene, they will be more likely to do the same.
Adding a trusted dental professional as a resource to your medical support system can provide ongoing peace of mind for your entire family.