5 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children from Your Ephrata, PA Dentist
Preventing tooth decay at any age is extremely important and none more so than in children. Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, not only affects adults but toddlers and young children as well. It’s becoming more and more of a concern that many parents have or should at least be thinking about. With school starting just around the corner, it’s time to make a visit to your local Ephrata PA dentist, Dental Care of Ephrata.
What Causes Tooth Decay in Children?
Tooth decay typically begins in toddlers when bacteria within in the mouth begins to eat away at their primary teeth. Giving your baby or toddler a bottle in bed overnight is a common cause of tooth decay. Milk or juice from a bottle can sit in their mouths throughout the night causing a breeding ground for bacteria. Poor dental hygiene, like brushing teeth improperly, can also lead to cavities.
What can you do as a parent to help prevent tooth decay in your children? Check out these 5 tips to help your children’s teeth stay healthy.
- Utensil Sharing: Cavity causing germs can be transferred from mouth to mouth. It’s important not to share utensils with your child, and for parents to fix broken or decayed teeth in their own mouth.
- Sugary Drinks: Bacteria in the mouth love sugar and produce acid that wears down tooth enamel. There’s also acid in these drinks that also erodes enamel. Sugar leads to cavities. Colored beverages can stain teeth. Limit or avoid drinks with added sugar like soda and juice. Keep teeth white and sparkling by choosing water more often.
- Brushing: Children 9 years and younger need help and adult supervision while they are learning. You should begin brushing their teeth as soon as they begin to come in using the smallest amount of tooth paste. Brush for 2 minutes after every meal. Flossing between their teeth should also be stressed regularly.
- Schedule First Dental Visit: Your child’s first dental visit should be when they are about 1 years old, as soon as the first tooth appears. Once teeth erupt he or she can get cavities.
- Seal out Decay: Sealants are a thin layer of a protective coating that significantly reduce tooth decay on back teeth in both children and adults. The sooner the sealants are applied the more protection you have. First molars come in around age 6, while second molars come in around age 12. Ask Dr. Schlosser or the staff at Dental Care of Ephrata about sealants for your children.
Regular preventive dental care appointments are important whatever your age. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Schlosser for the entire family today!