Child showing his teeth

How to Fight Tooth Decay

Adult teeth have more strength and resistance than children’s teeth, yet even adults develop cavities. You should care for your children. Supervision and anticipation can go a long way in keeping your child’s teeth clean and healthy throughout his or her formative years. The keys to excellent dental health are fluoride and regular visits to children’s dentists.

Children’s #1 Chronic Disease

Children suffer the most from tooth decay; as much as 40 percent of children suffer from it by the time they reach kindergarten, according to Harvard Health. Even worse, tooth decay can lead to missed school days, more unsatisfactory grades, and overall health problems in later life. Not to worry, however, since you can easily combat the disease as long as you stay attentive.

Apply Fluoride Early

As mentioned earlier, fluoride acts as the key to fighting tooth decay and cavities. As such, exposing your child to fluoride as soon as possible works best. The fluoride will coat your child’s teeth with a protective layer that tooth decay will not penetrate.

How early should you apply fluoride toothpaste then? Once you see teeth growing in your child’s mouth, you can already use fluoride toothpaste. Before your child is three years old, use only a smear of toothpaste. Once past three, you can put a pea-sized toothpaste on the toothbrush.

Visit the Dentist Early

Aside from using toothpaste as early as possible in your child’s life, you also have to bring your child to a children’s dentist as soon as possible. Dental institutions recommend that you already visit the dentist with your child at age one. After the first visit, return every six months just like you would to your child’s pediatrician.

child at the dentist's office

Establishing a regular and healthy practice of dentist visits will teach your child that his or her dental health is important enough not to be skipped on. You can also prevent tooth decay from affecting your child’s teeth with the help of a dentist. You can even prevent worse dental diseases than tooth decay if you only bring your child often enough to the dentist.

Undergo Fluoride Treatment

What do you do, however, when your child has already grown up? You may have missed your chance at applying fluoride early or establishing a habit of visiting the dentist. Your child might be at high risk of developing tooth decay now. All is not lost. Your answer lies in fluoride treatment.

Fluoride treatment applies a highly concentrated solution to the teeth like toothpaste. This high concentration of fluoride works to repel tooth decay in teeth that are already highly prone to decay. Children can undergo the treatment as well as adults. You can have your child receive such treatment to raise his or her resistance to tooth decay.

Have Good Practices

Of course, after the treatment, you have to supervise your child as he or she brushes every day with fluoride toothpaste. You have to begin going to the dentist often, too.

Tooth decay can wreak havoc on a child’s mouth, but you can fight that. You can keep your child’s pearly whites as healthy as they can be as long as you follow the steps above.