Cavity Prevention Tips for Preschoolers
Providing proper care and oral hygiene during preschool years can mean a lifetime of good oral health, according to an article in the January/February 2005 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Research shows that children who develop cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to develop cavities as an adult. So how can a parent determine if their child is at risk for cavities? It all begins with that first trip to the dentist.
The first dental visit should include an exam to determine if the child is at low, moderate or high risk for cavities and will help decide which oral hygiene program best suits them. Your dentist will be able to explain to you how often your child should be brushing, as well as provide flossing instructions for the child.
“Brushing should begin when the first tooth erupts,” says lead author of the report, Jane Soxman, DDS. “Parents should be in charge of a child’s brushing until the child is able to tie his or her shoes or write their own name clearly – usually 5 or 6 years of age.”
Children whose parents are prone to cavities and tooth decay need to be extra careful.
“We know there’s a genetic predisposition to tooth decay,” says Dr. Soxman.
Children at high risk for cavities should be discouraged from eating starchy snacks such as crackers and chips. In fact, one good way to determine if a snack is good for a child is to check their teeth 20 minutes after consumption. If the teeth are still filled with food, the snack should be discontinued.
“Regardless of what food is eaten, regular efforts have to be made to clean the teeth before decay can begin,” says AGD past president Tom Howley, DDS, MAGD. “This means things like brushing, flossing, rinsing after snacks and using non-sugary beverages in bottles or sippy cups.”
“It is always good to schedule routine dental checkups and to limit your child’s intake of sugary foods,” says Dr. Soxman.
“Essentially all children are at risk for cavities to some extent or another,” says Dr. Howley. “So the same basic principles apply – control of exposure of cavity-inducing food and thorough cleaning of the teeth. Even if decay is a low risk for an individual child, they can still develop gingivitis or other problems if home care is inadequate.”
source: KnowYourTeeth.com website
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You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.
We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am
The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.
We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.
Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.