It is a scary fact that about 40% of 2-5-year-olds that have not been to a dentist develop cavities. Proper oral health is very important to a child’s development and instilling that in them from an early age is crucial. For many parents, it can be a bit of a struggle to get their children to understand the importance and to follow through.
From a young age, it is helpful to start visits with a pediatric or family dentist. This helps develop successful patterns for when the child is older. It won’t become a twice a year chore; it will be something that they already do that we are just continuing. It is also important for parents to understand the basics in order to help their children further.
Decay is caused when bacteria is left on the child’s teeth and/or gums from food or drinks. The bacteria can break down enamel slowly which can eventually lead the tooth open to cavities and further decay.
It is incredibly important to remember that children are not born with the harmful bacteria that eats away at the structure of the teeth. Parents can actually transfer the bacteria by using the same spoon or even brushing teeth with the same toothbrush. The longer you can keep the bacteria out of your children’s mouth the better.
Set a positive example for your children from a young age by ensuring you are brushing and flossing properly. While it is important to remember the golden rule, “First Tooth, First Visit!”, before your children even have teeth, it is helpful to very gently wipe the gums with a warm cloth every day. This is especially important after feedings. To continue to prevent tooth decay and cavities, it is vital to avoid sugars and choose healthy foods.