It’s that time of year again! Parents are getting ready to head back to school with school supply shopping, packing lunches, and finishing up summer reading. This is also a great time to schedule visits with your child’s doctor and dentist to make sure they get off to a healthy start this fall.
While a dentist visit may not seem as fun as those last few precious days at the pool before school starts, your child’s oral health is just as important as some last-minute R&R. Dr. Brent L. Blaylock is here to offer tips on how to prevent cavities throughout the entire school year.
Cavity Prevention in Children
A healthy mouth is important to a healthy body. Did you know that over half of children aged 5-9 have at least one cavity? You can help your child from becoming this statistic by having them brush for 2 minutes twice a day (called the 2 X 2 rule), and floss once a day. We make sure we take time to show our young patients to brush and floss correctly during routine visits.
Nowadays, there are many toothpastes available on the market that are great for kids, and there are also timers available to help kids brush for 2 minutes. This simple 2 X 2 rule will strengthen enamel and keep young teeth strong.
You can also help maintain your child’s oral health by discouraging snacking on sugary foods and drinks, including popular sports drinks! Too much sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth, which leads to plaque build-up and gum disease.
If your child is especially prone to cavities or if you struggle with a low-sugar diet, you can talk to Dr. Blaylock about preventative sealants. This procedure will fill in pits and grooves on molar teeth to make them less favorable for mouth bacteria to settle and erode tooth enamel. This is particularly effective if your child has trouble reaching the back of the mouth with their toothbrush, which many kids do.
Tooth decay is especially prevalent among school-age children, and tooth-related illnesses account for 52 million school hours lost each year! To keep cavities at bay and promote good oral health, make sure you include a dental check-up on your back-to-school to-do list!