Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

A Parent's Guide To Cavity Prevention

Children love sugar and hate brushing their teeth, so preventing your child from getting cavities can be a tough job. These tips will help you prevent cavities in your child's teeth, preserving your child's oral health and comfort.

Teach Good Brushing Habits and Model Good Oral Hygiene

Start brushing your child's teeth as soon as they erupt. Use infant toothpaste and an infant tooth brush. Follow all instructions on the toothpaste tube, and use only a very small bead of toothpaste.

Brush your child's teeth until your child reaches 3 years old. Once your child reaches the age of 3 or 4, you can start teaching your child to brush his or her teeth independently. Even after you've shown your child how to brush properly, you'll need to supervise the task to ensure that it's being done properly.

Brush your teeth together at night and in the morning. Modeling your own tooth brushing techniques for your child sets a good example for your child to follow, while also providing you with an opportunity to supervise your child's tooth brushing techniques.

Act Quickly When Teeth Hurt

Contact the dentist right away if your child complains that his or her teeth hurt. Catching problems early can prevent problems from becoming large or unmanageable.

Consider Family History

It's said that 80 percent of cavities occur in just 25 percent of children. Unfortunately, some kids are just prone to getting cavities, even if they brush their teeth regularly and watch their sugar intake. Some of this is influenced by the health of the parents—particularly the health of the mother.

Mothers and children tend to share saliva and bacteria, and some of that bacteria can be particularly harmful to teeth. Children who are at high risk for cavities should be identified early and watched carefully for tooth decay. If you have a family history of dental problems, speak with your child's dentist about cavity prevention.

Start Young

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child should have his or her first dental appointment by the time he or she is 1 year old. If your child is at high risk for dental problems, your dentist may recommend scheduling the appointment as soon as the first tooth has broken through the gums, even if that occurs before your child's first birthday.

Cavity prevention starts at home. Following these tips, you can help keep your child's teeth healthy and cavity-free. If you're looking for a dentist in your area, visit http://sharpsmile.com.