How to Prevent Dental Problems in Kids?

Parents consistently seek the utmost well-being for their children, particularly when it comes to their dental health. Right from the emergence of the first set of teeth, instilling healthy oral hygiene practices becomes paramount to prevent the common dental issues that often affect children. 

Dental problems are prevalent across all age groups of children, underscoring the significance of proactive and preventive care. Presented below are some of the key preventive measures suggested by Thornton children’s dentistry which aims to address dental challenges encountered by children.

  1. Even prior to your baby’s teething phase, it’s advisable to gently wipe the gums with a clean, damp washcloth to eliminate harmful bacteria.
  2. Once your baby’s teeth start to come in, utilize an infant toothbrush to clean them. Employ a small amount of fluoride toothpaste mixed with water (approximately the size of a grain of rice). 

Make sure to choose fluoride toothpaste endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA). (If you’re using fluoride-free baby toothpaste, maintain the same quantity, as the goal is to limit the ingestion of toothpaste.)

  1. Once your baby’s adjacent teeth make contact, then flossing between them is recommended.
  2. Around the age of 2, encourage your child to spit while brushing. Refrain from having your child swish and spit water, as this could lead to unintentional swallowing of toothpaste.
  3. For children aged 3 and older, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is suitable.
  4. Supervising children under 8 while brushing is essential, as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.
  5. Ensure sufficient fluoride intake. Regular usage of fluoride strengthens enamel, creating a more resilient barrier against acid infiltration. Although numerous municipalities mandate the fluoridation of tap water, this isn’t universal. 

If your water source lacks fluoride or your family opts for purified water, consult your dentist about potential fluoride supplements. 

  1. Moderate or steer clear of certain foods. Foods high in sugar, juices, and candies (especially adhesive gummy varieties, gummy vitamins, fruit leather, or “roll-ups”) can degrade enamel and contribute to cavities. 

If your children consume such foods, encourage them to rinse their mouths or brush their teeth after eating to eliminate residual sugar. The same guideline applies to sweetened liquid medications: always ensure that children rinse or brush after consumption.

  1. As your child’s permanent teeth emerge, the dentist can aid in cavity prevention by applying a thin layer of resin (known as a sealant) to the posterior teeth, where substantial chewing takes place. This protective coating hinders bacteria from settling in the less accessible crevices of molars. 

However, it’s crucial to impart to children that sealants do not replace effective brushing and consistent flossing routines.