Preventing childhood tooth decay is incredibly important. How you treat your child’s baby teeth will affect how the adult teeth grow in. With all the sugar and candy that children eat these days, cavities and other problems can be a major issue. Plus, you don’t want your child to go through the pain and suffering of dental surgeries like root canals. This can cause them to develop a fear that will last well into adulthood. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help your child keep his or her teeth clean and to avoid costly and painful tooth decay. What you have to realize is that your child’s dental health is congruent with your child’s overall health. Here is how to prevent early childhood tooth decay.
- Never put any kind of sugary soft drink or juice in your child’s bottle. Your child’s bottle should only be for milk or formula. You should not put any sugary drinks, like juice or soda in your child’s bottle, because this will greatly increase the chances of cavities and tooth decay.
- Don’t put sugar or honey on pacifiers to entice your child to use the pacifier. In the old days, many parents would put sugar or honey on their child’s pacifier to get them to use it – the end goal being to pacify your child. These days, putting sugar or honey on your child’s pacifier can increase the chances of tooth decay. If your child doesn’t like his or her pacifier, you may want to try making it a fun experience.
- Cut out soda from your child’s diet altogether – soda can rapidly cause cavities. Soda is incredibly high in both calories and sugar, so it can really wreak havoc on your child’s teeth and your child’s health. Ideally, you want to remove soda from your child’s diet completely. If your child is under three years old, you definitely want to cut out soda, because it may be having a negative affect on his or her development, which can be much worse than a cavity.
- After you nurse your baby, you want to use a thin, clean cloth to remove the plaque. You may not realize it, but your breast milk is high in sugar, so you want to be sure to wipe off your child’s teeth after you nurse. You can do this with a light washcloth or a toothbrush that is specially designed for babies and toddlers. Your baby may not like having his or her teeth wiped off, which is why you want to be very delicate.
- Bring your child to a dentist every four to six months. On top of everything, you also want to find a dentist – like Frank Skiba, D.D.S. – to have your child’s teeth and gums looked at by a professional. Ideally, you want to catch cavities before they become a major problem. By visiting a dentist, you will not only catch cavities – your child can also have his or her teeth professionally cleaned. In the end, a professional teeth cleaning should happen at least once a year.