Nobody wants their kid to develop cavities, and children aren't too keen on it, either. But preventing cavities can sometimes seem challenging for parents. If your child is already brushing their teeth at least twice a day and you've tried diet modifications only to find out that they still have cavities developing, then here are three potential ways to get them under control.
Do you remember going to the dentist's office as a child and needing to sit in the chair for a while with a pair of trays over your teeth? Chances are the treatment you were receiving was a fluoride treatment.
While modern-day toothpaste, mouthwash, and even tap water contains fluoride, it can't compete with receiving intensive treatment with it. Fluoride helps to harden the teeth, making it more difficult for them to be broken down by bacteria responsible for cavities. If your child hasn't been receiving this treatment, either due to missing dental appointments or because their dentist doesn't do it, it's time to consider specifically requesting fluoride treatments or changing to a new family dentist.
Dental sealants are another option for your child. Like fluoride, sealants make it harder for cavities to occur, but with a different method.
Dental sealants apply a thin layer of dental filling material to the biting surfaces of your child's teeth. They're typically only used on the molars, but these teeth are much more likely to develop cavities than your child's front teeth anyway, as they're harder to keep clean. Sealants are painless and easily applied, and once on they can last for years.
Last, your child may simply need to visit the dentist more often for dental cleanings. Some children are simply at a higher risk of developing cavities than others, either due to poor self-oral hygiene practices or because of a developmental condition that has caused weaker enamel than average.
By taking your child to the dentist more frequently, you can ensure that tartar is cleared away on a regular basis, helping to prevent cavity development. It can also help to catch cavities that do develop earlier on, which can make treating them easier and faster. In fact, if cavities are caught very early on before they penetrate the deeper layers of the tooth, it's sometimes possible to remove the cavity without the need for anesthetic, which means your child won't have to be afraid of a needle.