According to The New York Times, cavities in toddlers and preschoolers are on the rise. Moreover, it’s not just one cavity here and there; dentists nationwide are reporting an increasing number of preschoolers with six to ten cavities or more. Luckily, there are many things parents can do to stop this problem in its tracks.
Start Brushing Early
Start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth erupts. Use a wet gauze square or your finger to brush to gently brush along the baby’s gums. Not only will this keep his newly minted teeth clean, but it will also get him used to the idea of brushing his teeth so he’ll be less likely to resist it later on.
Take Your Child to the Dentist
It is recommended that children should visit the dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts in the mouth. During this visit, the dentist will be able to look at your child’s mouth, gums, and bite, as well as checking your child’s teeth for signs of decay. These early visits will also help your child get used to the idea of the dentist!
Limit Sweet Snacks and Juice
Though almost every food contains some sugar, there are some that have especially high amounts – candy, fruit snacks, and gummies, for example – which you should limit in your child’s diet. You should also be careful about your child’s juice intake for similar reasons – try choosing water instead. In addition, you shouldn’t let your child fall asleep with a bottle; milk pooling in the mouth is one of the most common causes of cavities in toddlers.
Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Fluoride
Fluoride is believed to be an important aid in maintaining good oral health when a child’s daily intake of fluoride is monitored. Parents, talk with your dentist to determine whether your child is at risk of developing cavities. If your child is at risk, brush their teeth using a very small amount of fluoridated toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.