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Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Children

Cavity Prevention Tips for Preschoolers

Providing proper care and oral hygiene during preschool years can mean a lifetime of good oral health. Research shows that children who develop cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to develop cavities as an adult. So how can a parent determine if their child is at risk for cavities? It all begins with that first trip to the dentist.

The first dental visit should include an exam to determine if the child is at low, moderate or high risk for cavities and will help decide which oral hygiene program best suits them. Your dentist will be able to explain to you how often your child should be brushing, as well as provide flossing instructions for the child.

Brushing should begin when the first tooth erupts. Parents should be in charge of a child's brushing until the child is able to tie his or her shoes or write their own name clearly – usually 5 or 6 years of age.

 

Is My Child at Risk for Early Childhood Tooth Decay?

 

The average healthy adult visits the dentist twice a year. The average healthy 2-year-old has never been to the dentist. By kindergarten, 25 percent of children have never seen a dentist, yet dental decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease.

A combination of misinformation about child is, when a child should first visit the dentist, when a parent should start caring for a child's teeth and the frequent and long-term exposure of sugary liquids to a child's teeth.

A child should first visit the dentist six months after the eruption of the first tooth. During this first exam, the dentist can teach parents the best way to guard against early childhood tooth decay by wiping down the teeth with a damp cloth after every feeding and remind parents to limit sugary beverages.

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