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Protecting Your Kids from Cavities

Protecting Your Kids from CavitiesWe all want to do everything we can to give our kids a healthy start on life. While we do this in countless ways by using car seats, child-proof locks on cabinets, and feeding them a healthy diet, we often overlook another critical health aspect: the mouth.

Although we all know that bacteria in the mouth causes dental decay, most of us have no idea that the bacteria was introduced to us by others. Specifically by their saliva. Babies mouths are naturally completely free of such cavity causing organisms. While the introduction of them will undoubtedly happen eventually, there is no reason to start them down that path any earlier than necessary. There are a few things you can do to minimize this.

Avoid putting things from your mouth into their mouth, as happens when we test food before giving it to them.
Do not use spit to clean a pacifier or bottle.
Before the first tooth appears, wipe their mouth out daily with a soft, clean, and moist cloth.

Additional things you should be doing to avoid the need of any tooth decay treatment include:

Schedule their first dental exam with a pediatric dentist around their first birthday. Talk to the dentist about the best type of toothpaste to use and whether or not it should contain fluoride.
After their first teeth erupt, brush the teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Avoid giving them sticky snacks, candy, soda, or juice.

Lastly, if you spot a white spot on he/her tooth, contact their dentist immediately, as this could be the first sign of a cavity.


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