Cavities can be incredibly painful for your child, and in many cases will lead to tooth decay and childhood periodontal disease if untreated. Our experienced dentist at Wasatch Gentle Dental can help you prevent cavities from developing in your child’s mouth. To learn more about cavity prevention in Murray, Utah, and schedule your child’s appointment with Dr. Andrew Smith, call us today at 801-262-6661.
Cavities are the result of prolonged or regular exposure to sugars and carbohydrates. Sugars and carbohydrates collect on and around the teeth, forming a sticky film (plaque), which ingests the sugar particles and emits a harmful acid.
While primary teeth will eventually fall out, they fulfill several important functions, and should be well cared-for. Children should brush at least twice a day and floss at least once, and visit the dentist for biannual cleanings and exams to ensure that their teeth remain healthy and free from cavities or other damaging dental conditions.
Common signs of cavities include:
- Heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Nighttime waking and crying
- Sensitivity to spicy foods
There are several steps you can take at home to prevent your child from developing cavities. We recommend that you:
- Provide your child with a balanced, nutritious diet. Avoid sugary and starchy foods and drinks.
- Reduce snacking. We advise saving sugar and starch for mealtimes, when your child is drinking water and producing more saliva. Make sure that he or she drinks enough water to cleanse the teeth.
- Stop using a sippy cup after your child is 12 months old. This will prevent sugary liquid from continuously swirling around your child’s mouth.
- Avoid sticky foods. They form plaque quickly and are difficult to remove from the teeth.
- Rinse your child’s pacifier with running water. If you rinse it with your mouth, oral bacteria from your own saliva can contaminate your child’s mouth.
- Do not let your child go to bed with a bottle. Give him or her a drink before bedtime, and then brush their teeth.
- Do not sweeten the pacifier with honey or other sugary substances.
- Brush and floss regularly. Help your child brush and floss until age 7.
- Check on your child’s fluoride levels at their regular dental appointments.
- Keep all routine dental appointments. Your child should have his or her first visit to the dentist at about age 1.
For more information about cavity prevention, please contact our practice today.