3 Tips to Help Parents Prevent Tooth Decay in Their Children

Use these 3 simple tips to keep your child’s smile healthy and cavity-free.

Parents only want what’s best for their kids. It’s a fact. We want them to get a better start in life than we did. We want them to be healthy, have access to a great education, and provide them with the best opportunities. So, naturally, when something doesn’t go as we hoped, we may tend to go into panic mode.

Case in point: your kids’ oral health.

Picture this: after doing your homework about your baby’s first teeth and how to care for them, and being diligent about his routine, you discover at your St. Louis pediatric dentist appointment that his teeth are demineralized. What gives?

Why Tooth Decay Occurs in Toddlers

You need two variables for tooth decay to occur:

  • The presence of the right bacteria in the mouth and
  • A lifestyle that allows the bacteria to thrive and multiply.

If you have the habit of kissing your baby on the mouth or putting his pacifier in your mouth before giving it to him, then you may be passing colonies of cavity-producing bacteria to him.

Likewise, letting your dog lick your kid on the mouth is another risk factor as they are common carriers. While the presence of the right bacteria in the mouth can lead to tooth decay, it also needs the right environment to thrive. A person who has an unhealthy lifestyle and consumes lots of acidic foods and drinks daily will have poorer oral health than one that follows a balanced diet.

How to Remineralize Your Toddler’s Teeth

Unless you are extremely careful, you may have passed some of the harmful bacteria to your baby. Don’t despair! As we’ve mentioned already, it takes more than just that for cavities to occur. Take a look at your kid’s habits and see what you can change. Here are some ideas:

  • Instill Good Oral Hygiene Habits – Is he brushing his teeth twice a day? We mean REALLY brushing, not just touch them lightly with the toothbrush for a few seconds. Also, is your child brushing correctly? Ask your St. Louis pediatric dentist to show you how to clean his/her teeth correctly so that you don’t miss anything. Try to make the entire process fun. Put a song or create one together about how you are going to get the cavity monster.
  • Skip the Sweet Snacks – Giving your kid sweet snacks between meals is a surefire way for their teeth to demineralize. Instead of a cookie or pancakes, offer them fruits and other healthy snacks.
  • Control Their Sugar Intake – You may think that giving your kid to eat a handful of dried fruits, such as raisins, is benign. The quantity is small, and raisins are healthy, right? Well, not quite. Most foods nowadays are packed with added sugars. As we all know, sugar is one of the main culprits of tooth decay.

Hopefully, these simple tips will help you keep your child cavity-free. Additionally, it is important to have your child see a dentist regularly to keep up with their oral health. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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Updated: May 31, 2024

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