Care of Your Child’s Teeth
Tooth Decay in Kids
Getting into a routine of regular dental care is one of the best ways for children to fight cavities. As young children develop more teeth at ages two to three years, the same general rules to fight cavities apply to them as for teens and adults:
- Visit a dentist two times a year
- Eat tooth-healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, and cheese
- Rinse with water if it isn’t possible to brush after each meal or snack
- Brush teeth at least twice daily using fluoride toothpaste
- Supervise, Supervise, Supervise: Be sure to supervise toddlers and young children as they brush and floss their teeth. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is about the right amount, but remember that even this small amount should be spit out, not swallowed.
- Consider Sealants: Based on the condition of your child’s teeth, some dentists recommend dental sealants to help prevent cavities.
- Sip Some Tap Water: Many parents may want their children to drink only bottled water, but tap water in most areas provides a valuable source of fluoride that is important to help fight cavities in children.
- Tooth decay in kids is a real problem. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tooth decay is more prevalent than both asthma and hay fever in children. In fact, more than 40 percent of children have tooth decay by kindergarten age, which is why brushing teeth for kids is so important.