Tips for Preventing Dental Cavities
Establishing regular dental visits for your child, every 6 months starting at or before age 1 is very important to maintain good dental health and prevent cavities. It is important for the whole family to create a habit of good dental hygiene and regular dental visits. Families who receive regular routine dental care and lead by example, help prevent cavities.
Mouth fact: Cavity bugs are contagious from tooth to tooth and from person to person.
Eating healthy fruit and vegetables as your preferred snack and eating your fruit versus drinking fruit juices, since juice is high in sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends very little juice or no more than 6 oz. of juice, with one meal a day.
Brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily. Use a grain of rice amount (small smear) for children 2 and under. Use a pea size amount for children 3 and above.
Floss at least once daily to remove food between teeth that the toothbrush just can’t reach.
Help your child brush their teeth until age 8-10. Children do not have the coordination to brush efficiently on their own. Consider using an electric toothbrush (more efficient at removing plaque and food).
- No soda and only 1 cup of juice a day.
- Wean off bottle (at least no bottle for sleeping).
- Only water or milk in sippy cup during the day and only water in sippy cup at night.
- For adults, 3-4 exposures to Xylitol sweetener a day will help decrease bacteria that causes cavities in mouth (chewing gum/mints).
- Drink tap water with Fluoride throughout day.
- Less or no candy and junk food (sticky chewy candies and gummy vitamins can get stuck in the teeth and can contribute to tooth decay).
Important: The last thing that touches your child’s teeth before bed-time is the toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste.
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