Tips from our pediatric dental office in Indianapolis for cavity prevention
As parents, we want to see our children develop strong, healthy smiles. As your dental team, we have the same priority. Dr. Church and our friendly dental team at Washington Street Dentistry believe that children deserve care that is gentle and effective, but also fun and entertaining. Regular checkups are important, as we all know. However, when children hate visiting the dentist, parents can find it very difficult to maintain recommended visits, reasoning that home care habits will suffice.
By working with your dentist, you give your child the best chance of avoiding painful cavities. This dental problem is common among children, but largely avoidable. Our dental services for children are delivered with exceptional attention to detail in terms of emotional wellbeing, and highly effective in protecting teeth against harmful bacteria. In addition to treating teeth in our office, we discuss ways in which cavities can be avoided through hygiene and lifestyle habits. Some of our tips include:
- Babies and toddlers should be given only water if they have a bedtime bottle. Falling asleep after drinking milk or juice leaves sugar residue on teeth for extended periods, which can significantly increase the risk of cavities.
- Be careful of the beverages your child is allowed to consume regularly. Avoid giving children soda of any kind. These beverages are not only sugary but also very acidic. The acid in foods and beverages, including that in sports drinks, is very damaging to teeth, causing enamel erosion.
- By the age of twelve to fifteen months, children should be taught to drink from regular cups, eliminating the bottle and sippy cup.
- Rather than offering sugary snacks, provide nuts and crunchy vegetables. Foods like celery, broccoli, and cauliflower work to clean the teeth, and provide many nutrients. Snacks like cheese and yogurt have calcium, which build strong teeth.
- Establish a regular routine for meals and snacks so that children do not nibble throughout the day, leaving debris to linger in the mouth.
- Encourage children to drink plenty of water. If taste is a concern, fruit infused water beverages are healthy and fun to prepare.
- Devote time to oral hygiene. Children learn by watching their parents, so let your child see how you take care of your teeth and gums. Provide direct assistance to children until they are old enough to brush on their own. Once children are brushing their own teeth, continue to check their success, rewarding a job well done with a non-food related treat.
- Maintain regularly scheduled dental check-ups and cleanings at Washington Street Dentistry, where we make children comfortable in the dental chair.
- Talk with your dentist about the benefits of fluoride and dental sealants for the prevention of cavities.
Contact Washington Street Dentistry for your family’s routine dental exams and cleanings, and keep their smiles healthy and beautiful.