Cavities are often considered an adult problem, but recent studies have shown a concerning increase in cavities in toddlers and preschoolers. At our Chattanooga pediatric dental office, we wanted to take a look as to why this is happening and provide you with tips on how to limit the likelihood of your child developing a cavity.
We all know that sugar is your Chattanooga pediatric dentist’s worst enemy. And while kids may enjoy the sweet goodness, too much can lead to major oral health concerns. Sugar is found in almost every food out there, so avoiding it altogether is a pretty unrealistic request. But there are ways you can help limit exposure. Avoid soft drinks, use sports drinks and juices periodically, and never give your child a bottle of juice or milk at bedtime. Candy, fruit snacks, and gummies are also packed with sugar. Allow them in moderation.
As soon as baby’s first tooth pokes through, it’s time to start brushing. Start with a clean, wet washcloth or piece of gauze wrapped around a finger and slowly work up to an actual toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure to encourage your child to brush twice a day. Starting early gets your child used the idea of brushing and can set them on the right path towards proper oral health.
Brushing is great, but flossing is just as important and can’t be ignored. Nearly one-third of each tooth’s surface is missed when we forego the floss. And in between the teeth is exactly where pesky bacteria love to hide. If it’s not removed, decay and cavities are likely. Teach your child to floss early and encourage them to do it at least once a day.
One of the best ways to decrease the chance of your child getting a cavity is to visit our Chattanooga pediatric dental office at least twice a year, or as often as recommended. You should schedule your child’s first appointment no later than age one or two, and then maintain regular visits.
If we happen to find a cavity, we will talk about a variety of treatment options. Occasionally, sedation dentistry is recommended for nervous patients or for a more in-depth treatment. We will determine together which is best for you and your child.
Looking for a pediatric dentist in Chattanooga? Give us a call to schedule your first appointment today. We’re always happy to see new smiles!