7 Ways To Help Your Child Avoid Cavities

Tooth decay is a pretty common health issue among children. In fact, 17.5 percent of individuals between the ages of 5 and 19 have untreated cavities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If dental cavities are left untreated, it can result in tooth loss. However, if you have your child follow a good oral hygiene routine and avoid bad habits, you can reduce his risk of cavities. Here are seven ways to help your child avoid cavities:

Make Brushing Fun for Your Child

Most children don't enjoy brushing their teeth and will spend as little time as possible cleaning their pearly whites. The good news is that you can do several things to make brushing more entertaining for your little one. Colgate recommends making a game out of it. For example, you could have your child brush his stuffed animal's teeth while you brush his. You could also play a fun song as your child brushes his teeth. Two minutes won't seem as long to your child if he has a nice song to listen to.

Limit Sugary Foods

It's no secret that kids love sugary foods, like candy, donuts and cupcakes. However, the sugars in these foods can stick to the teeth and become a breeding ground for bacteria. It's best to keep these foods out of the house. If you do give your child a sugary treat, make sure he rinses his mouth out with water afterward.

Give Your Child Crisp Fruits and Vegetables

Crisp fruits and vegetables, such as pears, apples and carrots, will do more than just boost your child's immune system. They can also keep cavities at bay. The abrasive texture of these fruits and vegetables can scrub plaque off the teeth and promote saliva flow. Try to pack these fruits and vegetables in your child's lunchbox every day.

Think About Dental Sealants

Does your child seem to get cavities no matter what you do? Some kids are more prone to cavities than others, and it can be incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, your child's dentist can put dental sealants over his teeth to help prevent cavities. These sealants are applied on the chewing surfaces of teeth and protect them against decay. Dental sealants are inexpensive and can prevent frustration in the future.

Minimize Juice Beverages

Fruit juices may have plenty of vitamins, but they are also very acidic. If your child drinks juice on a daily basis, it can eventually wear down the enamel of his teeth and make him more susceptible to cavities. Try not to serve your child juice more than a few times a month.

Don't Let Your Child Share His Foods and Drinks

Cavities can actually be contagious, so you should discourage your child from sharing his foods and drinks with his friends. The bacteria from cavities can easily be passed on from one mouth to the next. If your child understands that sharing his foods and drinks can potentially hurt his teeth, he will be less likely to do it.

Don't Skip Dental Visits

No matter how much your child fusses, you should never avoid dental visits. You should take your child for a dental checkup every six months. One way to make your child less afraid of the dentist is to do a meet and greet. Bringing your child to the dentist's office before his actual appointment will help get him get used to the idea of a dental checkup. Your child can meet all the staff members and learn what to expect during the exam.

If you follow these tips, your child will be less likely to experience cavities.