Cavities in children aren’t uncommon. Although all parents fear the day their child will have a cavity, some are forced to face their fears after hearing the bad news from the dentist. As adults, we know how important it is to avoid cavities and maintain good dental health.
Children aren’t as understanding, however, and this is why it’s so important that all parents make it a priority to teach children how to prevent cavities from forming. Thankfully, as common as cavities in children are, your child doesn’t have to deal with them and neither do you. When you know how to prevent cavities in children, you can keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy!
In the guide below, you’ll find several tips on how to help your children avoid cavities. Continue reading to find out more.
Teach Them About Dental Hygiene
The first step to preventing cavities in your child’s teeth is to teach them about dental hygiene. If a child doesn’t understand why they must do something (brush and floss daily) then they could resist doing it. Take the time to sit your child down and explain to them the importance of brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
Why do we brush and floss? What happens to our teeth if we don’t brush and floss? What do cavities look like?
You can show them pictures of decaying teeth and of someone’s teeth who doesn’t brush and floss. This could give them a better perspective on the subject and encourage them to keep their own teeth clean and healthy.
Set a Good Example For Them
Many of the things our children do and say are learned through the actions and words of their parents. You know how much your child enjoys following you around and how often they repeat the things you say. Use this to your advantage when helping them avoid cavities.
Set a good example for them by brushing and flossing every morning and every night. When they see you doing this, they’ll know it’s part of the daily routine and won’t feel as resistant. It’s even a good idea to brush and floss your teeth with your child.
This can prevent them from feeling as though they’re missing out on something. When the entire family stops to brush and floss, your child will feel more comfortable doing so as well.
Create a Brushing and Flossing Chart
When children are rewarded for doing something, positive reinforcement can encourage them to strive to be the best. If you create a brushing and flossing chart for them to move up on or place stickers on, then they’ll enjoy doing so each morning and night. Then, at the end of the week, you can allow them to choose from a treasure box with small rewards in it.
As long as they have a sticker on each day for both brushing and flossing during the am and pm, then they can choose a reward! Be sure to switch it up and add different rewards in the box every so often. These rewards don’t have to be anything big or expensive.
Small, simple toys will be enough to get your child excited about brushing and flossing.
Brush and Floss to 2-Minute Songs
To make sure all of their teeth are brushed properly, it’s essential that they’re brushed for 2 whole minutes. Two minutes can seem like a long time when brushing in silence, but when brushing to a song or video, it can go by quickly. There are several children’s songs online about brushing that are 2 minutes long.
However, you can also play any song your child likes or any video of their favorite characters. As long as it’s about 2 minutes in length, it’ll work great! Have them brush while listening or watching and the time will go by before they know it!
Read Them Books About Brushing
Another great way to teach your children about brushing their teeth is to read them books about brushing and flossing. Try to find books that include some of their favorite characters brushing and flossing their teeth. When they see their favorite characters brushing and flossing, it could encourage them to brush and floss also.
If you can find videos of these characters brushing and flossing, then this is another great option.
Reduce the Intake of Sugary Foods
Reducing the number of sugary foods and drinks your child eats on a regular basis will reduce the chance of them getting cavities. Do your best to switch out candies and other high-sugar treats with fruits your child might enjoy. When possible, do have your child brush their teeth after each meal or after eating anything high in sugar.
Having your child drink water after meals and sugary foods will also help rinse away the sugar and food particles left in their mouths.
Schedule Regular Dentist Appointments
The last tip we have for you is to schedule regular dentist appointments for your child. Start by finding the best pediatric dentist near you for both you and your child. Your child’s pediatric dentist should make them feel safe and comfortable at all times.
Regular dental visits every 6 months will help prevent cavities and ensure good oral hygiene at all times. A children’s dentist can also help answer any questions you might have about your child’s oral health and create a treatment plan for your child if there are any present issues.
Are You Worried Your Child Might Develop Cavities?
If you’re worried your child might develop cavities in their teeth, then be sure to keep these helpful tips in mind. Don’t hesitate to follow each step listed above to ensure the best oral hygiene for your child. Remember to explain to them the importance of brushing and flossing, to set a good example, and to take your child to the dentist for routine appointments.
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