Your Child’s Ammunition against Tooth Decay
Dental hygiene must begin at home as soon as the first tooth erupts to reduce risks of tooth decay and other long term dental issues. In the beginning, you can wipe your baby’s teeth with a dental cot to remove excess debris and keep your baby’s mouth clean. Secondly, your child should see a dentist within 6 months after the first tooth erupts or by one year old. There are also several other ways that your child’s teeth can be protected for optimal oral health.
- Fluoride Toothpaste may be purchased over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. It’s also wise to ask your dentist about any additional fluoride that your child might need.
- Water fluoridation may be offered in your local area water supply. Again, your dentist will know if your child will require additional fluoride.
- Your dentist will typically suggest dental sealants at the appropriate age. Dental sealants resemble a clear varnish that can be applied to teeth to protect the teeth from foods that trigger acid. Sealants are particularly beneficial for teeth with deep grooves or crevices that are at greater risk of tooth decay.
- Proper diet filled with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and water consumption plays a role in your child’s oral health.
Recently, the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs published recommendations that sugar-free chewing gum, lozenges and hard candy that contain xylitol may prevent cavities when used in conjunction with traditional approaches for cavity prevention. Use of these treats may be particularly beneficial for people at high risk of cavities. It has been recommended that children over 5 years of age who have been identified at high risk should chew sugar free gum containing xylitol for up to 20 minutes after meals to prevent tooth decay.