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At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, our dental services are designed to prevent a number of different potential problems in your child’s teeth. One of the primary culprits of tooth issues? Tooth decay.

Broadly, tooth decay is defined as permanently damaged areas in the teeth which can develop into tiny holes. It’s caused primarily by acids in your mouth, which are created by bacteria, eating away at teeth. Tooth decay may only lead to a cavity, or it may cause infection, tooth loss and other issues.

As a parent, there are several things you can do to help your children prevent tooth decay. Let’s look at a few good habits.

Brushing Habits

Kids should be brushing at least twice a day, and even more often in some cases. Ideally, they’ll brush after every meal. Use toothpaste with fluoride, and for kids who might be at a high risk of cavities or decay, the dentist may recommend a mouth rinse which also contains fluoride. Make sure your kids are brushing for the right length of time, and actually impacting the teeth rather than just putting the brush in their mouth.

Water Choices

Most public water contains added fluoride, which can help decrease tooth decay in a major way. Drink this and tap water where possible, and avoid drinking only bottled water, which may lack these nutrients.

Food Choices

There are several foods which are better for your child’s teeth than others. Foods like chips, candy or cookies – which can easily get stuck in teeth and breed bacteria – are avoidable if possible, and if they must be eaten, encourage brushing right away afterward. Fruits and veggies help the mouth naturally increase saliva flow and eliminate bacteria, so they should be promoted.

Snacking and Sipping

The less snacking you can get your child to do, the better. Every time they put food in their mouth hours away from brushing, it just adds another chance for bacteria to foster and grow into acid.

Fluoride and Other Treatments

For kids at a high risk of cavities or other issues, the dentist may recommend one of a few specific treatments. Fluoride treatments periodically are sometimes a good idea, and they may also recommend antibacterial treatments if issues persist. In some people, dentists install dental sealants – a protective coating applied to back teeth. These sealants are actually recommended for all school-age children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Regular Checkups

Best of all, regular checkups will help prevent the sneaky onset of tooth decay or any other major dental issue. Our pediatric dentistry is full of staff who know just how to combat common child dental issues.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, speak with the professional staff at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.