Staying safe during the pandemic often means avoiding large gatherings, staying home, and for many children, attending classes at home. These developments also mean another complication: snacking. Increased snacking, especially of sugary and starchy foods, is a major factor in a rise in children’s cavities. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about keeping smiles healthy with routine habits at home.
Bad Pandemic Habits
When children stay home more often, or indoors due to the cold weather, this could mean increased boredom and with it, a rise in snacking. This is also common during online classes, as kids often snack at their desks or workspaces. When children consume snacks high in sugar and starch, this leaves particles behind for bacteria to break down. Throughout this process, the enamel is softened and the teeth coated in plaque buildup, factors increased for a major rise in tooth decay and the need for dental fillings to prevent infection or even premature tooth loss.
The Need for Routine
To help avoid cavities and keep little smiles safe, a routine is crucial. Make sure your children start their day by brushing their teeth, and complete the day by brushing again and flossing before bed. During the day, try to set aside specific times for snacks and meals, and discourage snacks in between these times. In addition, try to offer healthier options, such as fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain crackers, low-fat yogurts, cheeses, and nuts, of which contain essential vitamins and nutrients and have a reduced sugar and starch content. Watch what they drink too! Water is healthy, but fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and soda all contain sugars and acids that weaken enamel and make cavities more likely!
Brushing and Flossing
You may need to assist your younger children, and monitor your older ones. Try timing them with fun apps or podcasts, or even songs that last about two minutes total. Make sure their toothpaste also contains fluoride. Using a rice-sized bit of fluoride toothpaste prevents fluorosis, but also strengthens the outer enamel.
Checkup and Cleaning Visits
Make sure your kids are also attending their routine checkup and cleaning visits too! These visits enable us to keep an eye on the smile and watch for the earliest indicators of trouble, so we can treat the issues and restore health to their smiles. If you have any questions, then contact our team today.
Make Time for Your Child’s Next Checkup
Our team would like to make sure your kids enjoy strong teeth and gums with preventive care. To learn more about keeping little smiles healthy, then schedule an appointment by calling Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients who live around Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities.