How to Prevent Cavities in Kids: A Thorough Guide

January 11, 2024 - By Dr. Tasnim El Masri
How to Prevent Cavities in Kids: A Thorough Guide

There’s nothing better than keeping a dentist’s drill away from your child’s teeth, but between watching commercials and reading the latest parenting articles, it starts to seem impossible until you realize that there are cavities in kids now and all you need is a professional approach and a few simple tips.

How to Prevent Cavities in Kids?

Here are the best 8 tips you will ever come across from our pediatric specialists: 

1. Schedule Regular Dental Appointments:

Dental visits are not only meant for treatments and emergencies. It is the first and foremost step in preventing cavities in kids.

As a general rule, a child’s dental visits start with the emergence of his first baby tooth which usually takes place between the age of 6 and 12 months. Regular follow-ups are recommended twice per year.

When seeking the best children’s dentistry experience for your child, a pediatric dentist is your best choice to ensure a fun and positive approach. A specialized dentist can also provide you with tailored guidance on cavity prevention, oversee the progression of oral growth, and administer expert dental cleaning with early interventions.

2. Develop Optimal Hygiene Practices:

We all make sure that our kids follow the rule of brushing twice per day, but have we ever considered teaching them the correct technique, finding the best toothpaste for them, or providing them with the motivation they need?

Although a pediatric dentist can provide you with thorough explanations and answers about cavities in kids, here is a summarized list:

– Assisted brushing is recommended until around 6 years and supervision can take place till the age of 8 or 10.

– Partaking in this routine with your child makes it less of a punishment and more of a role-model achievement.

– Using a child-friendly toothbrush with the preferred animated character or favorite tunes sustains your child’s interest.

– Age-suitable fluoridated tooth paste with a pleasant flavor is recommended in appropriate amounts.

– Sand clocks can also add some fun and ensure a 2-minutes brushing.

– Certain oral hygiene measurements for infants even before the eruption of teeth can also be provided by pediatric dentists for expected and new mothers.

3. Encourage The Adoption Of Nutritious Diet:

Restricting the consumption of sugary snacks and beverages is a significant factor in preventing cavities in children. While reducing the quantity can be crucial for overall health, reducing the frequency is what matters when addressing dental health.

Of course, you don’t have to banish these food items altogether but limiting snacking to healthy foods is advisable as well as encouraging the practice of at least rinsing shortly after consuming sticky, sweet meals. 

Practical education using videos or familiar examples has been the easiest way to encourage children.

4. Fluoride Treatment:

Although it has been a controversial topic and many parents are hesitant about it, fluoride is still the treatment of choice for certain cases. These cases include a condition called molar-incisor hypo-mineralization (MIH) where the loss of minerals can contribute to higher susceptibility of cavities. Fluoride when applied properly and professionally can compensate for the loss of minerals.

A pediatric dentist can provide you with detailed information about different ways of administration according to the severity of the case and age.

5. Sealants for Added Protection:

Dental sealants are thin colorless layers of protective coating placed on molars’ surfaces to prevent cavities, especially in high-risk patients. 

These sealants inhibit the accumulation of food particles and bacteria within the crevices of the teeth and last for a significant time. 

Seek advice from your child’s dentist to ascertain the appropriateness of sealants as an additional measure for cavity prevention.

6. Highlight the Importance of Flossing:

You heard many times before that brushing and flossing are equally important as it is effective in removing food particles left over between teeth.  Yet, it is still a challenging goal to make your child prioritize flossing the same way they prioritize brushing.

This is where partaking and showcasing are so helpful.

7. Avoid Sharing Food And Utensils With Your Child:

Another answer to the question, of what causes cavities in kids is sharing food and utensils with the child. Dental cavities are multifactorial with bacteria as a main factor. Because bacteria can be passed from one user to the next, it’s best to avoid sharing foods, drinks, and utensils.

The same is true of pacifiers. Avoid putting a pacifier in your mouth to clean it after a drop especially if you have a history of cavities in kids’ teeth.

8. Educate On The Consequences:

Your child is a key player in this game, and to win it, he must be involved and aware, not only of preventive measures but also of the consequences of neglecting it.

Start by assisting your child in comprehending the idea of cavities, its causes, its prevention and the consequences of maintaining vs. neglecting oral hygiene.

Leading by familiar examples, photos, or videos can be a lot helpful.

The more your child is aware of the discomfort and agony that a cavity might cause him/her, the more he/she is inspired and encouraged to actively participate in dental hygiene practices.

All the information and help you need about cavities in your kid’s teeth and your child’s dental health can be best provided by our pediatric dentists who are willing to give their time and patience for you and your child.

Do not hesitate to reach our dental clinic in Dubai for an unforgettable experience.

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