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How To Fight Tooth Decay in Children

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It can be difficult to get children to brush their teeth. Young children don’t think ahead, so they don’t see the consequences of their actions, or their negligence. They don’t connect their lack of dental care today with the painful cavities they suffer tomorrow. So parent have to be strict and make sure that children brush their teeth, and eat a reasonable diet.

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We have some suggestions for helping children keep their teeth healthy.

Upgrade to Adult Toothpaste

Childrens’ toothpaste is made to be a little safer should it be swallowed. It has little to no fluoride, because it is unhealthy to consume too much fluoride. But if your child has learned how to spit out the toothpaste when they are finished brushing then they are ready for the adult type toothpaste. This adult toothpaste has a decent amount of fluoride, which goes a long way to strengthening tooth enamel and preventing decay.

Do not rinse after brushing. Instead, let the toothpaste stay on the teeth so the fluoride can do its work.

Strong Mouthwash

Some general mouthwashes can be used several times every day. Others, like Savacol, are designed for occasional use. This is because they are very strong, and will stain teeth if used daily. But it we use these strong mouthwashes on a regular but infrequent schedule, once per week or for one week per month, they are still very effective.

Sugar and Diet

Sugar and carbohydrates will feed the bad bacteria in the mouth, increasing tooth decay. Even healthy food will contribute to this if we do not remove them with brushing. We need to address this if we are to protect our teeth.

Snacking is generally a bad habit. If we snack on junk foods and sugar then our teeth are constantly exposed to the acid that lead to decay.

If we do snack, we should stick to fruit, nuts, cheese, celery and carrots. These are fine if we brush our teeth latter on in the day.

If we have to eat sugary deserts, then only have these after a meal. The extra saliva produced after a meal helps neutralise the effects of the sugar.

Sugar free gum is one exception. Gum with Stevia or Xylitol helps keep teeth clean.

Quick brushing

If we brush too soon after eating we damage the enamel, which has been softened by the sugar or acid in the food.

We should brush for 2 minutes, using light pressure and a soft bristle brush.

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Molar Sealants

The back molar teeth have a rough upper surface that tend to retain bacteria and food debris, even when diligently brushed every day. Toothbrushes often cannot reach the small spaces in these teeth, so we need to take a preventative measures to protect them.

Molar sealants are put in place by the dentistdentist. These sealants fill in the tiny grooves in the molar’s chewing surface, and provide some protection against decay.

Fluoride Varnish

If the individual child has ongoing decay problems, then regular fluoride varnishes at the dentist can offer addition protection for teeth. The dentist may recommend undergoing this treatment every 3 months.

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By the time the child has braces they are already teenagers, so they should have learned at least some responsibility. But braces do make teeth cleaning more difficult than usual. Individuals find they may need to use inter-dental brushes or Waterpik instead of flossing. The dentist can instruct on other ways to keep teeth clean while wearing braces.

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Children need instruction on how best to look after their teeth. Parents can advise and schedule regular dental appointmentsregular dental appointments.

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