Your dedication to protecting your child’s oral health likely consists of assisting with daily brushing and flossing. Hopefully, you are also scheduling six-month preventive care visits with us, so we can help your child avoid tooth decay and dental fillings, as well as other concerns. While these are excellent, tried-and-true methods for maintaining a healthy, growing smile, prevention does not end there. In fact, we find that parents are often shocked that there are some surprising (yet simple) additional tips for avoiding cavity development. Allow us to let you in on the details.
Tip #1: Drinking Juice
Unfortunately, even natural fruit juices are quite sugary (natural sugars are still sugar), which means they can contribute to the development of cavities and the need for dental fillings. Don’t worry – it’s all about your approach. Rather than allowing your little one to drink juice all day, we suggest including it with a meal (followed by rinsing – then brushing). Between meals, drinking water is safe and actually beneficial for your child’s smile.
Tip #2: Dry Mouth
Is your child a mouth breather because of allergies? Perhaps your little one is taking a certain type of medication that results in dry mouth. Whatever the case, we suggest you address this issue by speaking with us about ways to improve mouth moistness. Increasing hydration by drinking water throughout the day is always helpful. This promotes saliva flow, which washes away bacteria, thereby reducing cavity formation.
Tip #3: Continuous Snacking
Is your child happily chomping on cookies and crackers throughout the day? This is keeping your child’s mouth full of carbs, which bacteria love to eat. As bacteria digest the carbs, they release acids that weaken tooth enamel. Swap carby foods for snacks like fresh veggies or cheese. Also, plan specific times for snacks and rinse afterward to avoid cavities and dental fillings.