5 Proven Tips for Keeping Kids Cavity-Free

The winter holidays are almost here, and with them come fun times with family and friends, presents, and, of course, holiday treats. With all of the cookies and candies and hot chocolate circulating this time of year, it’s natural for parents to worry about cavities.

At Garden Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Denton, Texas, our highly-skilled team of dentists and dental care providers want to help you keep your child’s teeth healthy — during the holidays and all year long. We’ve created this helpful guide with five proven tips to help you keep your kids cavity-free. Read on to learn more!   

1. Be sure your kids brush regularly

As soon as your child gets his first tooth, it’s time to teach the importance of regular brushing. Regular tooth brushing is one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities from forming. Choose a toothbrush designed for children. Be sure to brush your young child’s teeth for him at first, and continue to supervise toothbrushing until about the third or fourth grade. 

2. Buy the right toothpaste

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend parents buy fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child’s first tooth arrives. Fluoride helps stop teeth from losing important minerals that keep enamel healthy and strong. It can also strengthen areas already weakened by cavity-causing bacteria. Depending on the state of your child’s teeth, your provider at Garden Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry may also recommend fluoride supplements.   

3. Instill the habit of regular flossing

Even if you help your child brush regularly, brushing can only reach about half of the surface area of his teeth. Flossing helps reach plaque on the sides of teeth, as well as plaque that forms in between teeth. Teach your child that flossing is quick and easy. It takes only a few minutes to keep his teeth healthy and him out of the dentist’s chair. 

4. Dish out healthy snacks and lots of water

While it’s okay to indulge in a holiday treat or two, eating mostly healthy foods and avoiding sugary drinks in favor of water even during the holidays is important to your child’s oral health. Cavity-causing bacteria love warm, moist places like the mouth, and they feed on sugar. They then produce acid waste, which erodes dental enamel, creating the perfect niche for cavities to form. And when your child does have a holiday treat, be sure to encourage him to rinse, brush, and floss as soon as possible afterwards. 

5. Provide your kids with regular dental checkups

The American Dental Association recommends scheduling your child’s first dental appointment by his first birthday. It’s important to continue with regular dental exams, as dentists can provide cavity-preventing treatments like sealants and topical fluoride. What’s more? Regular dental exams help acclimate your child to routine dental care, reducing the risk of anxiety or fear associated with the dentist — and that encourages life-long dental care. 

Ready to learn more about keeping kids cavity-free?

If you want to learn more about keeping your child’s teeth free of cavities, or if you want to schedule a regular dental exam, call our Denton office at 940-566-4888 or send us a message online today. 

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