We just got back from the dentist yesterday, and the results were not pretty! This led me to do some research and come up with these best tips for preventing cavities in kids.
The Trip to the Dentist – Background
Our dentist came to the determination that our son had one cavity and our daughter had two cavities!! Needless to say, Carrie was beyond pissed. She makes sure the kids brush their teeth twice a day (after breakfast and after dinner) for two minutes, she then checks to ensure they did a good job with brushing, she flosses their teeth 1-2 times a week, and she makes sure they do a fluoride rinse once a week. What else could we have done to prevent these cavities in our kids?!?
Our family dentist was pretty short on answers that we thought were helpful. It turns out after some research, that there are a whole slew of best tips for preventing cavities in kids that he could have shared with us. They mentioned some people just have different mouth bacteria, or are more prone to getting cavities… That sounded like a lot of mumbo-jumbo to us. We wondered if we were getting scammed like some of those dateline undercover type reports where dentists charged to filling cavities unnecessarily.
It turns out, some of the info to prevent cavities in kids that was given to us was pretty spot on. But, this list I put together of best tips for preventing cavities in kids is pretty encompassing! You will find that the list of 20 items related to cavity prevention span the gamut of ideas. I challenge you to find at least one tip to implement now with your children.
I spent a lot of time compiling this best tips for preventing cavities in kids list from several different on-line sources. My goal is to better educate you on cavity prevention and to save you time. As you will find below in the best tips for preventing cavities in kids, there are a lot of factors within your control :-).
Best Tips for Preventing Cavities in Kids
As mentioned, after getting a bad report on our kids oral hygiene, we decided to do some research on the best tips for preventing cavities in kids. Here’s are the best cavity prevention tips we were able to compile for you after a couple hours of research:
- Brush for two minutes – Ensure your kids are brushing their teeth for at least two minutes! One minute is too short!
- Brush two times a day – Kids need to remove the sugars, starches, and any potential plaque often to minimize tooth enamel damage. Make sure you have your little kiddies brushing after breakfast before they start their day!
- Help your kids brush – You will need to help your children brush their teeth until they are 7 or 8 years old to ensure they get their teeth fully clean.
- Use fluoride toothpaste – Ensure your child’s toothpaste has fluoride protection. If not, switch it out right away!
- Get serious about flossing – Move up to helping you kids floss their teeth daily. Those little Plackers things make flossing your teeth easy these days!
- Consider routine fluoride treatments – Ask your dentist about instituting weekly fluoride rinses for your kids. Just make sure they are old enough not to swallow it!
- Get the right toothbrush – Make sure you use a soft-bristle brush and you are replacing your child’s toothbrush every three months.
- Eat more cheese – It has been shown that casein, a protein found in cheese, can help increase the calcium content of your child’s saliva which will strengthen tooth enamel.
- Avoid frequent snacking/sipping – Frequent snacking and/or sipping helps the mouth bacteria produce acid which will attack your enamel. If you do find your kids snacking/sipping regularly, make sure they are also rinsing out their mouth with water. Eating sugar and carbs is OK, just make sure they are in meals and not drawn out during the day.
- Reach for the sugar-free candy – If the kids find it too difficult to give up candy, try and find sugar-free candy for them. Many sugar-free candies now include xylitol which has been shown to help protect teeth.
- Avoid foods that get stuck in teeth – Foods such as breads, chips, candy, or cookies can wreak havoc on a child’s tooth enamel. Anything with carbs, if left on the teeth for long periods of time, feeds bacteria in your mouth which then produce acid. Skip the junk food and have them go for fruits or veggies instead.
- Rinsing after eating and drinking – Have your kids rinse their mouth our after any meal or consuming any sugary drinks.
- Drink more tap water and less bottled water – most city and town tap water contains fluoride. This helps protect children’s teeth and significantly prevents tooth decay.
- Limit fruit juice – The sugars found in fruit juices are loved by the bacteria in a child’s mouth. They use the sugar from fruit juices to produce acid which will damage your kid’s teeth!
- Drink more milk – The benefits of milk for kids is widely documented. Calcium found in milk has also been shown to strengthen a child’s tooth enamel and prevent demineralization.
- Use a straw – When your kids do consume sugary drinks, such as fruit juice or soda, have them use a straw. This can keep much of the sugary solution off of their teeth!
- Chew gum after meals – Using chewing gum directly after meals that contains xylitol has been shown to help protect teeth. These xylitol chewing gums help to reduce dental bio-film. In addition, chewing gum after meals helps to increase saliva production which lowers mouth pH and counteracts the acid formed by bacteria.
- Nothing but water after teeth brushing at night – This will ensure that there are no sugars or starches left behind to rot your child’s teeth overnight.
- Talk to your dentist about sealants – Dental sealants are a type of thin, plastic coating that is typically painted onto the back teeth of children ages 5 – 14. This helps to seal all of the little crevices and help protect a child’s teeth from food and bacteria buildup that can lead to cavities. Talk to your dentist to learn more about this.
- Don’t skip dental checkouts – Finally, you and your kids should be visiting the dentist at least twice a year.
More Research on Preventing Cavities
If you are looking for more information on the best tips for preventing cavities in kids, check out these helpful websites that I used for much of my research:
- Cavity and tooth decay prevention – Mayo Clinic
- Dental Caries – Wikipedia
- The Tooth Decay Process – National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- 7 Surprising Cavity Fighters – EverydayHealth
- 6 Simple Strategies to Prevent Cavities – BestHealthMag
- Preventing Tooth Decay – WebMD
- How to Prevent Cavities – WikiHow
Final Cavity Prevention for Kids Thoughts
I hope you found the big list of best tips to prevent cavities in kids helpful. I learned a lot on my journey to research how to prevent cavities in kids, and I am excited to share this big list of cavity prevention tips with you. We have been following some of these best tips to prevent cavities in kids with our children, but there are quite a few cavity prevention tips that we need to get implemented now! Good luck in the war against kid’s cavities!!!
If you have any questions or items to add to the list of best tips to prevent cavities in kids, please leave them in the comments below 🙂