Prevention: Our #1 priority
At Cipes Pediatric Dentistry our number one priority is prevention. Tooth decay is largely preventable, yet tooth decay (or cavities) continues to be the most common chronic disease of childhood…2 to 3 times more common than childhood obesity or asthma. By starting early (having their first visit by their first birthday) and teaching our patients how to take care of their teeth we can prevent cavities and help children lead a cavity-free life!
Some of the steps that you can take to prevent cavities are: proper oral hygiene, exposure to the correct amount of fluoride, limiting exposure to sugary beverages, limiting snacking in between meals, application of protective materials such as sealants, and regular dental appointments.
- Brushing and flossing: Brush at a 45 degree angle, 2 times a day and floss once a day where the teeth touch. Parents should brush or supervise brushing until children are around 8 years old.
- Fluoride: Starting when the teeth first come in until 3 years old, brush using a rice sized amount of ADA approved toothpaste with fluoride. From 3-6 years old use a pea sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride. For children who are at high risk for developing cavities we often recommend a different type of fluoridated toothpaste.
- Drinks: Drink milk at meal time and water in between meals. Try to limit sugary beverages, such as juice, soda and sport drinks to special occasions, not everyday.
- Snacking: Eat 3 meals a day with 2 healthy snacks between meals. Replace high carbohydrate snacks with cheese and protein based snacks.
- Sealants: Sealants help protect the occlusal (biting) surfaces of the teeth. We recommend them on permanent molars and occasionally on primary (baby) molars if they have deep grooves.
- Regular dental appointments: By coming every 6 months, or every 3 months for high risk children, we ensure that if there is an area of concern we can catch it early and can do everything we can to prevent it from worsening.