BY THEIR ELEVENTH birthday, 2 in 5 kids will have at least one cavity, but parents can do a lot to keep their child’s teeth healthy. One major cavity culprit is sugary drinks, and that includes fruit juice. The worst way to drink it is by sipping it throughout the day, which can cause extensive tooth decay nicknamed “bottle rot.”
Sugar: Oral Bacteria’s Favorite Treat
Sugary treats are also a problem. So many snacks are loaded with sugar. Try to limit sugar consumption to mealtimes. We recommend trading sugary snacks for sliced fruits and veggies, especially if your child needs the energy boost from a snack in between meals.
Preventing Bottle Rot
It’s safe to use a bottle of water after the baby is six months old or a sippy cup of water for toddlers. (Another benefit to water aside from better oral health: no risk of stains or stickiness on clothing, carpet, or furniture!)
With infants, clean away the milk residue after every meal. As soon as baby teeth begin to appear, start brushing them with a soft toothbrush and only a tiny smear of toothpaste (as babies can’t rinse and spit). A good daily oral hygiene routine is paramount.
Make Regular Dental Visits
A child who is already showing signs of tooth decay should see the dentist. We can assess how advanced the decay is, deal with the cavities, and come up with a plan with you to prevent further problems. We can help protect their teeth with fluoride varnish and dental sealants.