How Can Parents Prevent Tooth Decay?

How Can Parents Prevent Tooth Decay

Parents and caregivers can actually do a lot to prevent tooth decay in their children.

There are two primary causes of tooth decay: poor diet and poor dental hygiene, both of which parents and caregivers have a lot of control over.

While genetic factors can also play a role in the development of tooth decay in children, these factors tend to play less of a role in the majority of children and are much more out of your control.

How Parents Can Prevent Tooth Decay in Children

  • Feed Your Child a Healthy Diet
    The average parent or caregiver out there likely knows that a healthy and balanced diet that has little junk and candy is important for dental health (and health in general).

    However, there are many foods out there that might take you by surprise in terms of how bad they can be for your children’s dental health. A few examples here include natural sugars contained in sugar-free fruit juices and milk.

    Natural sugars have the same effect on teeth that refined sugar does!

    So, consider replacing juice and milk with water if your children tend to drink these beverages between meals.

    Also be mindful of hidden sugars as well, both natural and refined. Ketchup, for example, contains a lot of sugar, as do a lot of packaged oatmeals, yogurt and crackers.

    Fruit leather is another common “healthy” snack that should also be minimized (it is both sugary and sticky, which can lead to cavities).

    We have talked about what a healthy diet looks when it comes to your child’s dental health, which you can read here.

  • Proper Oral Hygiene
    Most parents and caregivers know the importance of daily brushing (both morning and night) and flossing. However, it is not uncommon for some parents and caregivers to make a couple of mistakes.

    The first is that children need help brushing their teeth until they can hand write their own name. This comes as a surprise to many parents!

    The second is that children need to visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. Their first dental visit should be by their first birthday at the very latest. This comes directly from the Canadian Dental Association.

Smile Town is a pediatric dental clinic specifically designed for children. Our pediatric dentists will make your child’s dentist appointment positive and fun. To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact us here.