How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children
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How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children

Oral health is important to overall well-being. It is alarming that cavities are five times more common chronic disease than asthma among the children in the United States. A report by the US Department of Health and Human Services reveals that more than half of the children have cavities by the time they reach their second grade.  

While this report is concerning, the god news is cavities in children are preventable. Prevention starts while the child is still a baby. Here are some tips for preventing cavities: 

  • Pregnant women must visit a dentist for dental check-up prior to giving birth. Mothers should also make sure that their mouth is clean since they spend more time with the child. They also need to practice daily dental hygiene including brushing, flossing and healthy diet.
  • Only put milk or water in the baby’s bottle. Never give the baby juice, soda or other sweetened beverages. Only put water in the baby’s bottle when he goes to bed. When the baby reaches 1 year old, you can start giving juices during snack and meal time. 
  • Experts agree that drinking in cup is better for kids 1 year old on wards.
  • When a baby uses a pacifier, do not dip it into sugar or honey to give it flavour. Do not also use your mouth to “clean” it as it can transmit the cavities to the child. Clean the pacifier in running water with baby soap then rinse it thoroughly before putting it back into the baby’s mouth. 
  • Give healthy foods to your kids such as meat, fish, egg, cheese, fruits and vegetables. Sweets can also be given as a treat but only during meal and snack time in limited portion.  
  • Make it a habit to clean the baby’s gums with a clean cloth every day, especially after feeding and before bed.
  • Beginning on the appearance of your baby’s first tooth, gently brush it using a baby toothbrush and a very small amount of kiddie toothpaste. For ages 2-5 years old, a “pea size” amount of toothpaste with fluoride is recommended for brushing their teeth.
  • Set a good example to your kids when choosing the right foods to eat. Encourage them to eat nutritious foods. Nutrient-rich foods help in preventing teeth and gum problems. A balanced diet is important. Your child needs to eat foods from five major food groups. Ask an Ontario dentist CA what food is best for your child, how much portion, and when to eat it.