People who think “baby” teeth don’t matter are wrong. They most certainly do matter…in fact, they matter a lot! At Haring Dental Group we want all parents to know that caring for new teeth is critical to the health of your child and their future dental healthcare.
Dentists across the country are seeing an increase in cavities in children under 3. Many children can be spared painful cavities and the procedures necessary to correct the problems with just a few precautionary steps:
- Children should visit the dentist around their first birthday for an assessment of cavity risk. The number of teeth is not as critical as the risk assessment.
- Brushing. For children under 3, you can do the brushing for them. Use a pea-size or less of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Help your child learn that caring for their teeth is important, can be fun and tastes good! Most children are not able to correctly brush their own teeth until they are 7 or 8 so parental supervision is required!
- Reduce starchy or sugary snacks Both cause the pH level in your child’s mouth to increase. Raised pH levels increase acid in the mouth, acid is hard on tooth enamel. It isn’t about the amount of sugar but rather the frequency during the day. So yes, one big sugary treat is better than many medium treats. Why? It takes 20 minutes for saliva to “wash” away the acid.
- Drink tap water. Bottles water does not contain fluoride; tap water does. Unless there is evidence to the contrary in your areas, tap water is safe and good for teeth.
How serious is this? A recent New York Times article, Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities, illustrates the problem.
We know you want to protect your child’s beautiful smile. Please talk to us if you have any questions about dental healthcare and your children.