Taking care of your children's teeth

Five ways to care for your children’s teeth

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that dental cavities are the most commonly occurring ongoing disease in young people aged between 6–19 years. It was been found that children in the 14–17 age group have a four times greater chance of experiencing tooth decay than asthma!  Taking all these factors into consideration, here are five key ways in which parents and their children can protect their teeth:

1. Fluoride: If your child is aged two years or older, ensure that fluoride is one of the ingredients included in the toothpaste that you are using.  It is also useful to find out if the water in your home contains fluoride. If it does not, discuss fluoride supplements with your dentist.

2. Dental sealants: Seek advice from your child’s dentist in relation to dental sealants. These are a thin, plastic coating placed on the surface of your child’s teeth, which aim to protect against cavities.

3. Implement the “2X2” rule:  Ensure that your child is brushing his or her teeth for an entire two minutes, twice every day. Some families find it beneficial to use a chart to record activities, as well as a timer to monitor the brushing time.

4. Eat healthy foods: Make sure your child knows that foods which contain high levels of sugar or are acidic may result in tooth decay. They can also cause damage to tooth enamel. Creating a greater awareness about how foods affect their health will allow your young person to make more informed choices about their diet.

5. Go to the dentist: From an early age, (the usual recommendation is from one year of age), arrange regular appointments for your child to see visit the dentist.