Tips for Preventing Cavities in Children
Dental caries (cavities) is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. Lifestyle habits, especially for younger children, have a substantial impact on prevalence of cavities. Researchers have discovered that having a structured lifestyle is important in the prevention of cavities in children, and have identified several factors that influence the risk that a child will develop cavities. Among these factors are the frequency of teeth brushing, the frequency of eating breakfast, and the frequency of consuming food and drinks.
Examining these factors uncovers a few tips for minimizing the risk that your child will develop cavities.
• Brush teeth twice daily: Children who brush their teeth twice a day have far fewer cavities than those who do not brush twice a day.
• Eat breakfast: Children who eat breakfast every day have fewer cavities than those who do not eat breakfast.
• Limit frequency of food and drink consumption: More frequent meals and beverages can increase the risk that a child will develop cavities. Children who consume food or drinks more than seven times a day have more cavities.
In addition to the lifestyle habits above, dental sealants can be effective at preventing cavities. A dental sealant is a plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to protect them from tooth decay and cavity formation. They are most commonly placed on the back teeth that are more difficult to clean.
Minimizing the incidence of cavities in children is important for their well-being. Children who suffer from cavities and tooth decay may have difficulty eating, sleeping, and concentrating. In addition, severe tooth decay can require expensive treatments such as dental crowns or the need to see an endodontist for root canal therapy.
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