There’s just something about finding out your child’s teeth are healthy and free of cavities during a checkup that fills you with joy and relief. However, there’s also something about avoiding dental fillings that often causes parents to wonder if they’ve been lucky or if there’s anything else they can do to protect a child’s smiles from tooth decay. Fortunately, keeping your child safe from the negative effects of plaque – particularly cavities – is something we can easily speak to. By adhering to some simple guidelines (that will protect your smile, too) you can rest easy knowing you’re doing a wonderful job as a mom or dad.
Make Good Snacking Choices
Here’s what you need to know about tooth decay: Your mouth is full of bacteria in the plaque that sticks to your teeth. When you eat sugary, carby snacks, the particles rest on your teeth. Bacteria feed on these carbohydrates, releasing acids as they digest them. The problem is that these bacteria and their acids also rest on your teeth. The acids will wear away tooth tissue, resulting in tooth decay.
Naturally, your best bet is to avoid anything sugary, sweet, starchy, or carby and to focus on healthy good-for-your-teeth snacks for your child (and yourself), like the following:
- A piece of cheese
- Raw vegetables
- Fresh fruit
- Plain popcorn
Rinse and Brush After Sugary Treats
Okay, so the goal is to give your child super healthy snacks that keep the acid levels to a minimum. However, kids tend to love all things candy-, brightly colored-, sweet-, and sugar-related. Don’t become too stressed about this. Instead, try to limit these types of snack. And, consider the following:
- Have your child drink water as often as possible instead of sugary drinks
- Have your child rinse his or her mouth out after indulging in a sweet treat
- Teach your little one to brush his or her teeth 30 minutes after rinsing post-sweet-treat