Cavities are present in about 20% of U.S. children aged 5 to 11 years old. Additionally, 13% of youth aged 12-19 have at least one untreated cavity. Pediatric tooth decay is five times more common than asthma. These are shocking numbers.

Help prevent children from getting cavities

Take the kids for regular exams and cleanings. The American Academy for Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child establish a dentist and get an exam and cleaning by age one. Cavities are more likely to be prevented when a dentist sees children early.

Be a role model for good oral care. Visit the dentist two times per year and brush and floss regularly. Teach children how to follow your example with their own good oral care. Remind them to brush and floss each morning and night and after lunch or sugary treats if possible. Parents should brush toddlers’ teeth and supervise the brushing for children until they are older than 6 years old.

Know that eating can affect the teeth. Sugars that stay too long on the teeth can create cavities. Candy, treats, and starches like crackers and chips are likely to cause tooth decay when not properly brushed away. Ensure brushing after eating, especially if the child consumes starchy or sugary foods. Try to limit snack times so the child is not always eating.

Ask about fluoride. Children should use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities. Dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste once children are able to avoid swallowing it. This is generally around age three. Talk to the child’s dentist about toothpaste selection and if a fluoride treatment would be appropriate to prevent cavities.

Do you have more cavity questions? To speak with one of our pediatric dentistry professionals, contact Capital City Pediatric Dentistry today.