Tooth decay is the number one chronic disease among children. This is largely due to a couple of key factors. First, children tend to eat more sugary foods than adults, such as juice and candy. There is also an issue that some unfortunate parents know all too well, children absolutely hate brushing their teeth. There are many tricks and tips that are available to parents who find that they are losing the battle for brushing. Ultimately, this all boils down to one simple question. How often should your child brush their teeth?

Start Early

young girl awaiting for a dental exam

It is important to remember that tooth decay can occur as soon as their first teeth come in. Even though they have another set of teeth coming later in life, early extraction can be damaging to your child’s mouth. To avoid this, The American Dental Association recommends getting your child familiar with the act of brushing before they even have teeth. The best way to go about this is to gently wipe their gums using damp, clean gauze or a washcloth. After their first teeth come in, you should brush their teeth until they are able to on their own. Child-sized, soft bristled brushes are recommended, as well as a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Flossing should begin as soon as your child has two teeth that are touching. Just as with adults, children should be brushing at least twice per day.

Also note that although dental sealants are good for both children and adults, they don’t mean you can slack off in brushing.

Avoid Sugar

Many people assume that candy and soda are the main culprits for sugary tooth decay. While they are definitely full of sugar, children are often exposed to things like juice and dried fruit such as raisins. Juice is harmful to teeth not only because they are full of sugar, but because unlike whole fruit, juice does not offer fruit skin, pulp, or fiber which are full of nutrients that ensure healthy teeth. Dried fruits are also very sugary, and tend to stick to your teeth, creating a perfect storm for bacteria to thrive and destroy your enamel. Cutting down on sugary food and drink, in conjunction with good brushing habits, will go a long way to protect your child’s teeth.

Visit a Dentist

It is important to make sure your children are comfortable visiting the dentist before they leave the home for college. After all, dorm rooms have been proven to be particularly disgusting. To ensure good dental health, getting regular dental checkups. If you live near West Nyack and would like to schedule an appointment with Rockland County dentist Dr. Dunayer, please give B&D Excellence a call at (845) 627-7645.