December 23, 2016
Most everyone gets cavities–kids, too, of course. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control says that 19 percent of children ages two to 19 have untreated tooth decay. Why does this happen? What can parents do to prevent cavities? Your pediatric dentist in Birmingham, Dr. Angelica Rohner, has some suggestions for bright, long-lasting smiles.
Food Choice Can Be a Problem
Some people, including kids, are more prone to tooth decay. However, much decay starts in what we eat and drink.The fact is that most kids love sugary foods, and those carbohydrates grow plaque on and between teeth.
Soft sticky plaque optimizes growth of oral bacteria which secrete corrosive acids on tooth surfaces. When not removed with twice daily brushing and flossing and by regular cleanings at Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry, cavities result.
Besides eating starchy foods, babies and toddlers often drink from bottles. This poses a problem because when a baby goes to bed with a bottle of milk, the liquid accumulates along the gum line of the bottom front teeth. So, decay develops. If your little one needs to suck on a bottle at bedtime, water really is the only choice to avoid those cavities.
Poor Hygiene Can Be a Problem, Too
Parents, clean your baby’s mouth and gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad after each feeding and as he or she begins solid foods. Then, as teeth erupt, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste (containing no fluoride) to brush twice daily.
To ensure young kids, ages three to 10, are brushing properly, supervise them. Have them brush for the full two minutes recommended by the American Dental Association. Floss your kids’ teeth for them until they have good manual dexterity–around age 10.
Other Ways to Stop Decay
Kids, and adults, should stay well-hydrated. Water increases saliva with its beneficial enzymes. Ask school-age kids to get a good drink of water after lunch at school. Tap water has added fluoride for stronger tooth enamel.
Also, encourage a healthy diet. Fibrous fruits and vegetables scrape teeth clean, and high fiber breads, low fat meats and dairy strengthen enamel and slim waistlines, too. Parents should model healthy eating habits for their kids.
Lastly, your children’s dentist in Birmingham likes to see her youngest patients when the first baby tooth erupts. This initial visit gets the child used to the sights and sounds of the dental office. After age three, professional exams and cleanings every six months check for decay, gum disease and proper tooth development and alignment. Dr. Rohner offers dental sealants and fluoride treatments to protect against decay.
Dr. Rohner enjoys teaching kids and parents how to care their teeth and gums. Why not set up your routine exam and cleaning appointments? Contact Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry today. We would love to hear from you.
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