No parent wants to hear that their child has a cavity… again. Sometimes, even when you’re trying your best to keep them brushing, it’s still not enough.
Are Baby Teeth Softer?
This dilemma can be so frustrating, in fact, that it’s given rise to the myth that children’s teeth are just softer than adults, and more prone to cavities. But it’s not true. Baby teeth and adult teeth have the same chances of getting a cavity. The difference is in the brushing.
Most kids know they should brush, but they don’t really know how to do a thorough job. They don’t know the difference between a job well done and a brushing wherein they simply sweep the brush over their molars. It’s up to parents and dental professionals to help educate children on proper brushing so that they can take care of their teeth for a lifetime of good dental health.
Tips to Teach Your Child Proper Brushing:
- Leave out the toothpaste for a while. Toothpaste’s foaming effect can deceive us into thinking that we’ve covered the whole mouth when in fact, we haven’t.
- Try out plaque-revealing tablets. This can be a fun challenge for kids, since it reveals the spots that they have and haven’t brushed. It can get them used to the feeling of covering the whole mouth.
- Set a timer. We’re supposed to brush a full two minutes each time. It doesn’t matter how hard you brush, that’s simply how long it takes to get all the little corners of the mouth. Most people brush less than a minute, and just get the obvious same spots each time. After a minute, you start to venture past your usual pattern, getting the back of the mouth, the back of the incisors, the tongue, and right down to the gum line.
- Help them out until they’re fully dexterous. Many kids try, but they simply don’t have the fine motor skills needed to effectively wield a toothbrush. A good rule of thumb is this: if they’re able to tie their own shoelaces, then they should be able to brush well. Until then, help them out by brushing for them after their initial try.
Sealants Can Protect Children’s Teeth
As your child gradually develops the ability to properly brush his own teeth, it can be helpful to give them an extra layer of protection. That’s what sealants are. A dental sealant is a barrier against decay, bacteria and acid. Studies have shown that sealants reduce cavities by nearly 80% in molars. They can be especially effective in high-risk spots where food can get caught, but it can be hard to brush and remove.
Are your child’s teeth protected with sealants? If not, and you think that it could be a helpful step, talk to us today. Sealants are pain-free and easy to place, and will preserve your child’s teeth for years to come.