Preventing Cavities Over Summer Break

dallas kids summer breakSummer break is here! Which means your kids may be snacking a little more than normal, and may fall back on their brushing and flossing habits. But we can help kids avoid the onset of cavities with preventive care and tips on better homecare. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about cavity prevention during the summer, from a visit for an exam and a professional cleaning, or better snack habits and brushing and flossing at home. Together, we can safeguard little smiles during their summer break!

Schedule a Checkup and Cleaning

Now is a great time to see our team for a dental exam, as your kids don’t have to risk missing classes or falling behind! The exam involves our team looking closely at your child’s smile with advanced imaging technology, so we can make a diagnosis with precision and accuracy. Our team will look for common concerns like tooth decay and gingivitis, also make sure that baby teeth are erupting and falling out on schedule and that permanent teeth have a clear path to eruption. In the same visit, we will clean the teeth to completely remove all plaque and tartar, which fights bad breath, teeth stains, and cavities. These visits also help kids become used to seeing the dentist, so they don’t have dental anxiety as adults!

Brush and Floss Daily

The checkup and cleaning can help avoid cavities, but in between these visits good homecare is essential. At home, make sure your child is brushing for two minutes in the morning and at night. You can time them with a sand time, or a fun video or song. You can assist your toddlers, and monitor your older kids to ensure they clean their teeth for the full two minutes. We recommend using a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen enamel, a rice-sized amount for kids three and younger, a pea sized amount for everyone else. Flossing every evening is essential as this removes what a toothbrush cannot reach, and helps prevent sensitive gums.

Offer Healthy Snacks

When kids eat and drink items high in sugar and starch, this can leave behind particles that feed harmful bacteria to create plaque and tartar. To help lower the risk of cavities, ensure they drink plenty of water, which hydrates and rinses the mouth at the same time. Fruit juices, energy drinks, and sports drinks all contain lots of sugars and starches that can be harmful for smiles. Especially since sports drinks are often consumed when kids are playing sports or playing outside, when dry mouth is also already increasing their risk of cavities. Providing items like fresh fruits and veggies offer a tasty and smile-healthy alternative to sweets.

Fluoride Treatments

During your child’s checkup visit, we can also help with a fluoride treatment. We apply this mineral to the teeth in varnish form, a process that only takes seconds. Kids just need to avoid food and drink for about a half hour. The fluoride helps strengthen the enamel to make cavities less likely. This can protect smiles, including the weakened portions of the outer enamel that are already vulnerable to cavities to begin with.

Dental Sealants

Our team can also offer a preventive treatment to lower the risk of cavities in the form of dental sealants. These are an acrylic layer that we add to the rear teeth. The layer cures and covers these teeth so food and drink particles cannot become trapped between hard-to-reach molars. The application again takes seconds and kids need to avoid food and drink for about 30 minutes afterward. The sealants stay in place for up to ten years, and wear away gradually with time, clinging the longest to the more vulnerable portions of the smile. We can always re-apply as needed in the months and years to come.

If you have any questions about how our team can help you kids stay free of tooth decay all summer long, or if they need to undergo a checkup and cleaning visit, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help your child enjoy good oral health and a smile that shines, and that starts with a checkup and cleaning visit.

Do You Have Questions About Avoiding Tooth Decay?

We want to help children of all ages enjoy good oral health and bright smiles during summer break! From better snack options and homecare habits, to visit for checkups and cleanings, we can help your little ones avoid painful tooth decay and other issues, such as gingivitis. To learn more about how our team can help children avoid cavities, then please contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880. Your children deserve a smile that is strong and healthy, and we can work together to make this a reality!


filed under: Preventive Treatments