Back to School: Avoiding Cavities

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Back to School: Avoiding Cavities

Not many people know this, but did you realize that cavities are the number one reason for children missing school time during the year? That’s right, they take up more school days than illness, trips and any other single reason.

At Walker Pediatric Dentistry, we’re a family dentist office dedicated to making sure your child doesn’t miss any valuable class time for this or other dental reasons. Here are some tips to keep things fresh and healthy in the mouth as school starts back up.

Sugar Intake

Too much sugar can cause tooth decay when it creates bacteria, and then subsequent acids that destroy both the bacteria and your child’s tooth enamel. Look to limit their sugar intake, and in addition, limit the amount of starchy carbs they’re consuming regularly – this will keep the teeth strong and help them resist decay. If they stay in the mouth too long, these starches will turn into sugar and have the same effect. Also consider beverages here – avoid fruit juices high in sugar, sports drinks and colas.

Water, Water, Water

Saliva is vital for fighting against cavities, and it’s actually about 99 percent water. Keeping your child drinking water will keep the enamel strong, and help them stay away from cavities.

Brushing and Flossing

Establishing a regular brushing routine is likely the most important thing you can do with your child to prevent cavities. Make sure they brush twice a day, and pay careful attention to be sure that they’re brushing correctly – hitting the entire surface and the backside.

Flossing daily can be just as important. Floss can get certain items that the toothbrush will not, and can help remove food debris before it attracts bacteria and leads to cavity-causing plaque. Show your child how to floss and help them at first, and then allow them to do it on their own.

Add Some Dairy

Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, which is very important for tooth strength. The body stores 99 percent of its calcium in bones and teeth, and milk and dairy products can strengthen it. Strengthened enamel is one of the first lines of defense against cavities in general. Consider milk, cheese and yogurt as sources kids can enjoy.

Want to learn more about preventing cavities as the school year gets back underway, or interested in any of our other pediatric dentist services? Speak to the staff at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.