Protecting children’s teeth from cavities is important for overall oral health. Baby teeth and permanent teeth can get cavities, and preventing the decay in the first place is important for both. While baby teeth are only around for a short period of time, they do serve as a placeholder for permanent, adult teeth. This makes keeping them healthy really important. At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we want you give you some steps to protect the first line of defense against cavities — the enamel.
Enamel is pretty thin, yet incredibly strong. In fact, it’s the hardest part of the human body. But that doesn’t mean it can’t sustain chips or cracks, leaving the tooth exposed to bacteria and increased risk for decay. So while we all know it’s important to brush and floss regularly to prevent cavities, there are additional steps you can take to keep the protective enamel in tip-top shape.
- Fluoride. If your child is three or older, you should be using a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel both in the baby teeth and the unerupted adult teeth. Your pediatric dentist may also recommend an in-office fluoride treatment to further protect teeth from decay.
- Sealants. This protective measure is applied by a dentist at routine appointments. Sealants are a thin coating applied to the teeth to keep bacteria out. Using them is a successful way to keep enamel strong and teeth cavity-free.
- Diet. Sugary and starchy foods are dangerous to enamel and are some of the biggest culprits of cavities. Avoid too many sugar-filled treats, and be cautious even with some healthy sugary foods like fruit. Try to also limit the amount of starch-packed snacks such as chips.
- Water. Water is pretty powerful not only for oral health, but for overall health too. Water is naturally sugar-free and helps rinse away food particles and bacteria in the mouth. Encourage your child to drink more of it, especially after eating.
- Regular Visits. One of the most important things you can do to help protect your child against enamel erosion and cavities is to visit their Long Island pediatric dentist regularly. Checkups at least every six months are a great way to get the preventive treatments of fluoride and sealants, and to diagnose and treat any problems early.
Little smiles are precious, and we want to do everything we can to keep them healthy. If your child is in need of a dentist, give our Long Island pediatric dental office a call to schedule his appointment today.
Accepting patients from Long Island, Westbury, and all of Nassau County.