Even if you had cavities when you were young, your child doesn’t have to develop them.  Starting with something as simple as eating a well balanced diet can set your child up for a healthy smile for life.

What causes cavities?

When plaque has a chance to build up on the surface of teeth, the germs in plaque mix with sugars and carbohydrates in the mouth.  This is a dangerous cocktail of bacteria and sugars forms acids in the mouth and can attack the otter surface of teeth.

Fluoride and kids teeth

Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child is old enough to spit, and getting fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office can set your child up for cavity protection.  Brush you child’s teeth twice per day with toothpaste.  Little ones can look forward to brushing with a fun, fruit-flavoured toothpaste with their favourite character on the tube.  Talk to your dentist about how much fluoride your child is exposed to.

Oral Care Essentials for kids

To fight childhood cavities, use fluoride as a part of a healthy oral care routine.  When kids are still young, they need help brushing their teeth.  For those independent spirits, let them brush first and then you can brush a second time.  Floss your child’s teeth for them to remove plaque from the gum line and in between teeth.  Children should start seeing a dentist two times a year around the age of one.

Healthy Eating Habits

Another way to protect your child’s teeth from cavities is to make a healthy diet part of your families lifestyle.  Cut back on sugary snacks and starchy foods.  Crunchy foods like apples, carrots, almonds and celery make wonderful snacks for developing teeth.  Serve whole grains and plenty of low-dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt.  Always encourage brushing after meals.

With good oral hygiene and healthy habits, you can ensure that your kids will be less likely to have to deal with cavities.

Make It Special

Let your child pick out his or her own toothbrush. Perhaps a Batman or Hello Kitty model will do the trick. You can also find kits with stickers that allow children to design their own brushes. Then, pick out a great flavor of toothpaste. Think beyond mint! There are many great flavors available for kids, such as strawberry, watermelon, berry and bubble gum. Finally, brush your own teeth with your child. Put on a favorite song, and use your toothbrush as a microphone. Then make funny faces at each other in the mirror.

Play games
  • Give your child a toothbrush to play with. Let him brush his stuffed animal or doll’s teeth while you brush his.
  • Let your child brush your teeth. (Don’t forget to do it again yourself later.)
  • Cheer with each tooth brushed: “Tooth number eight is clean and shiny!” Then give an enthusiastic “Woohoo!”
  • Download a fun app. “Brush DJ” plays two minutes of music (the recommended time for brushing) while the brusher races against the clock to get a clean mouth before time is up. “Star Teeth” allows kids to pick a character who encourages them while they brush.
Offer Rewards

If nothing else works, it is okay to offer rewards. Do not look at it as a bribe. Even adults get rewarded for good choices: For example, getting a paycheck for coming to work. There is no need for an elaborate prize; a little something to provide motivation will suffice. Allow your child to pick a book to read or a sticker after brushing.

With a little creativity, your child may even come to look forward to brushing teeth. Encouraging good dental practices does not have to be a chore that everyone hates. Make it a favourite part of the day!