The best way to prevent dental decay is with proper nutrition. Water is recommended over all other beverages including milk to prevent cavities. Additionally, children should eat a wide range of foods including protein, fruits and vegetables, but frequent snacking on carbohydrate rich food should be avoided.
Proper Oral Care
Toothbrushing should occur a minimum of twice a day with flossing added in the evening to avoid carious activity overnight.
In addition to proper oral care, fluoride can be used to prevent cavities and strengthen teeth. Fluoride varnish can be applied in the dental office as part of the routine dental visit. Fluoride varnish is very easy to apply, dries immediately with minimal ingestion, and is well tolerated by the majority of patients.
Sealants, a thin plastic coating placed on the chewing surfaces of posterior teeth, can greatly help reduce the chances of cavities in the pits and fissures of the teeth. During this simple and quick procedure the posterior teeth are cleaned, dried, and painted to provide a barrier to food, plaque and acid preventing decay in these cavity-prone areas of the teeth.
If your child likes to chew gum make sure to choose sugar free gum that contains xylitol which has been shown to greatly reduce tooth decay and even help in caries reversal.
Regular Dental Appointments
Be sure to make and keep regular dental appointments for your child every six months. The earlier tooth decay is identified the easier it is to treat, resulting in a better dental experience for your child.