How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children

Cavities are not unique to children, but they are an all too common children’s dental problem. Dental cavities are holes or pits in the tooth enamel created by harmful bacteria that wear and break down teeth. Cavity prevention is an important part of care in our office and every day. We will review how you can stop tooth decay in your child at home and how we prevent cavities in our Mt. Airy, MD office.

Prevent Tooth Decay in Children in Mt. Airy, Maryland

Prevent Tooth Decay in Mt. Airy, MD

There are multiple things our team can do in our office to prevent cavities and tooth decay in children. At-home care is also important day to day to prevent bacterial buildup and keep teeth and gums healthy:

Get Sealants and Improve Fluoride Intake

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen teeth and protect them against cavities. Your child can access fluoridated water and toothpaste at home to help their teeth every day. A supplemental fluoride treatment in our office can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Our dental sealants can also benefit patients between the ages of 6 and 12. We place these protective seals on the back molars after cleaning the teeth and gums. Sealants prevent bacteria from penetrating the tooth enamel.

Follow a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

Regardless of age, everyone should brush and floss twice a day. From 18 months to 6 years old, it’s a good idea to use a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. When brushing their teeth, brush first along the gum line, moving to the chewing surfaces and the back of the teeth. Brush gently in circular motions. Your child can spit out their toothpaste after you finish brushing. You can have your child sit on your lap facing away from you so you can get hard-to-reach areas in the back of their mouth. Once your child turns 6, they can use standard fluoridated toothpaste–still using a pea-sized amount. 

It’s important to schedule routine dental visits for a cleaning and examination. During routine visits, our hygienists thoroughly clean children’s smiles, removing bacterial buildup from the teeth, gums, and soft tissues in the mouth. 

Watch Sugar and Carbohydrates

Sugars and starches can easily hide in the back of the mouth, creating cavities in the back molars. Beware of juices and sports drinks, as these beverages hide large amounts of sugar. A good oral hygiene routine can remove sugar and carbohydrates from the smile, but cutting down on overly sugary or starchy foods or drinks can help minimize bacteria in the mouth.

Harmful decay-causing bacteria feed on sugars and starches left in the mouth. As they feed on sugars and starches, they irritate the gum tissue and wear down the tooth enamel.

Do you need to schedule a dental appointment for your child? Contact Mt. Airy Children’s Dental Associates today at (301) 781-5337. You can also request a dental appointment online.