BY THEIR ELEVENTH birthday, 2 in 5 kids will have at least one cavity, but parents can do a lot to keep their child’s teeth healthy. One major culprit of cavities are sugary drinks. Sweet drinks like Kool-Aid, lemonade, cokes, and even fruit juice are culprits for cavities. The worst way to drink it is by sipping it throughout the day with a straw, which can cause extensive tooth decay nicknamed “bottle rot.”
Sugar: Oral Bacteria’s Favorite Treat
Sugary treats are also a problem. So many snacks are loaded with sugar. Everything from crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks, and much more are full of sugar. We all know that candy is loaded with sugar. Try to limit sugar consumption to mealtimes. We recommend trading sugary snacks for sliced fruits and veggies, especially if your child needs the energy boost from a snack in between meals. Eating whole fruits are much better for your teeth than juices.
Preventing Bottle Rot
It’s safe to use a bottle of water after the baby is six months old or a sippy cup of water for toddlers. (Another benefit to water aside from better oral health: no risk of stains or stickiness on clothing, carpet, or furniture!)
With infants, clean away the milk residue after every meal. You can use a soft rag to wipe their teeth. As soon as baby teeth begin to appear, start brushing them with a soft toothbrush and only a tiny smear of toothpaste (as babies can’t rinse and spit). A good daily oral hygiene routine is paramount.
Make Regular Dental Visits
A child who is already showing signs of tooth decay should see the dentist. We can assess how advanced the decay is, deal with the cavities, and come up with a plan with you to prevent further problems. We can help protect their teeth with fluoride varnish and dental sealants. Seeing a dentist every 6 months after the appearance of the first tooth will help your child to be more comfortable with the dentist and also stay in front of any dental health issues.
Watch for Cavities
Between visits, you can watch your child for signs of cavities. Some signs
- white spots on a tooth
- tooth color changing to a light brown
- darkening of the tooth
- a hole in the tooth
- a reaction to sweet or cold foods
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to your pediatric dentist. You want to address problems quickly to prevent any damage to adult teeth.
Morristown Pediatric Dentistry provides dental services for children and adolescents in the Lakeway Area. We strive to provide a fun, caring, and child-friendly environment. We are here to help your children form healthy oral hygiene habits and help them take care of their teeth. We are conveniently located in the heart of Morristown at 950 West 1st North Street. To make an appointment with one of Morristown Pediatric Dentistry’s doctors, please call: 423-581-1877.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.