fitting family dental visits into a crazy schedule

Tips To Help Your Child Curb Their Cavities

by Andre Daniels

Did you know that cavities are the most pervasive childhood disease? Tooth decay is even more prevalent than asthma—another common condition—in older children. While an occasional cavity usually isn't something to worry about, you certainly don't want your child to see developing decay at each dental visit. Here are some tips to help your child curb their cavities.

Get the Right Cleaning Equipment

Molars and premolars—or the back teeth—are the hardest to reach, so they are a common site for cavities. Plus, these types of teeth take the brunt of the chewing forces and have deeper grooves for grinding, so it's easier for food to get compacted in these areas.

Ask your dentist for a good toothbrush recommendation. Toothbrushes should be replaced at least every six months and should be durable enough to loosen debris. Besides a good toothbrush recommendation, invest in a water pick. A water pick can spray a stream of water to break up food debris. Cavities often happen between teeth because of inadequate flossing and because of food debris that gets caught above the gumline. While water picks aren't a replacement for flossing, they can greatly aid that task.

Have Dental Sealants Applied

Sealants are plastic coatings that your child's dentist can paint and sculpt into the grooves of teeth. Dental sealants are great at sealing out bacteria and protecting enamel. This is a low-cost, no-pain procedure. In fact, it may take the dentist between fifteen to thirty minutes to apply them. As long as your child doesn't grind his or her teeth, dental sealants can last many years.

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

An office that provides pediatric services can be a great benefit for your child. Pediatric dentists have had additional training and deal with dental problems specific to children and adolescents.

Because tooth decay is a common issue in children, pediatric dentists will best know how to handle your child's issue. For instance, you may think that your child is not brushing enough, but a pediatric dentist may identify another root cause of the cavity. For instance, sometimes baby teeth crowd adult teeth, which makes it easy for bacteria to thrive in these places. Your dentist may ask you about your child's diet; you may have to make changes there and cut out more starches and sugars. Or your child may take medication which dries out their mouth, making it easier for cavities to develop. Whatever the reason for the cavities, your dentist can help you find the cause.

Contact a dentist in your local area for more information about reducing your child's cavities.