Nearly one out of every five children in the US has an untreated cavity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year, over 51 million school hours are lost due to dental problems. But contrary to popular belief, nearly 100% of cavities are preventable. If you want to have a cavity free year, follow these four simple steps can keep you and your kids on the right path to a healthy mouth:
Set a timer (or play music) for two minutes of brushing, twice every day.
If you brush for two minutes, twice each day, this is the first step to staying cavity free. If you brush at the same time each day as part of your regular routine, this can help to form a daily habit of oral care. It is best to conduct your daily oral routine with your children so they are able to see what a example of good oral hygiene looks like. This will also help to motivate them to take better care of their own teeth. Brushing for a full two minutes can feel like an eternity for young children, so the ADA has created fun videos that are exactly two minutes long. You can find them on the2Min2X website.
Keep regular dental visits.
Every year should start by setting up an appointment at the dentist to check on your current dental health as well as resolving any currently existing issues. Many people credit their absence at the dentist office to lack of time or finances, but skipping out on clean ups and check ups can result in problems becoming more costly, more time consuming, and more painful. Every family should schedule an appointment at least once every six months for a regular cleaning and check-up with a pediatric dentist.
Take advantage of fluoride.
Fluoride is a known natural mineral that has been proven to dramatically reduce cavities. Many people do not realize it but most of the water coming from faucets in the U.S. is fluoridated. A downside of bottled water is that it usually does not contain fluoride, so if your child only drinks bottle water, they are missing out on the cavity prevention. It is a good idea to switch to tap water so that you can reap the benefits of fluoridated water as well as saving a plastic bottle from the trash and possibly your teeth from a cavity.
Teach your kids to floss.
According to a survey from Delta Dental, it was revealed that 43 percent of parents said their children’s teeth have never been flossed. The ADA also reported that one in ten US adults neglect flossing as well, which shows that habits start young and if a child neglects flossing, they likely will as adults. It is never too late to create good habits with you or your children! If your child has the ability to tie his or her own shoes, they are ready to learn how to floss. Flossing is vital because it helps to reach the places that a toothbrush simply cannot, and it’s one of the best ways to prevent gum disease. Cavities truly are preventable when you take care of your teeth the right way. This next year can be a great year for your teeth simply by following these easy steps. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or give us a call to set up an appointment today!