Children’s dentist: Preventing Cavities in Toddlers

Children’s dentist : 6 Easy Ways to Work at Preventing Cavities in Toddlers

children's-dentistry-lincoln-nebraskaOur goal, and hopefully yours, is to work at preventing cavities in our toddlers. It is not uncommon for toddlers and small children to have cavities.  According to Children’s Dentist, of children between the ages of 2 and 5, 28% of them have one or more dental cavities.  Ten years ago, the percentage of children in that age group with cavities was 24%.  4% does not seem to be a large shift, but it represents literally thousands of children. This signifies a trend moving in another way than the one of the past forty years, when tooth decay steadily declined. If you have toddlers and are concerned about cavities, I give you six simple ways to work at preventing cavities in toddlers that you may find helpful:

1. Avoid letting your toddler drink juice or formula during the night:  Juice and formula contain sugar that causes bacteria; this produces acids in your toddlers mouth that will cause baby bottle tooth decay. It would be better for your toddler to drink fluoridated water; this can reduce the risk of cavities.

2.  Your toddler should eat foods low in fat from the core food groups: Just as raw fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole-grain breads are wonderful for your growing child’s over-all health, they are just as important for your child’s dental health! These products are far easier on the teeth as you work at preventing cavities in toddlers.

3. Only give your toddler sweets as a dessert:  If you are going to give your child sweets, do so only after a main meal or as a dessert.  Major obstacles in preventing cavities in toddlers are late night snacking and snacking frequently–especially on sugar filled goodies!

4. Water filters are a good investment: It is not necessary to spend extra money on bottled water; you can easily invest in a water filter that attaches to your sink, or even use a water pitcher that has a filter built in.  Fluoridated tap water is a wonderful resource for preventing cavities in toddlers.

5.  Avoid sharing utensils or cups with your toddler:  Simply put, cavities are contagious.  If you have cavities yourself, you will more than likely pass them on to your child if you share cups, utensils, etc., with him or her.  Keeping drinks and utensils individually designated helps greatly in preventing cavities in toddlers.

6.  Quit smoking: The University of Rochester’s Strong Children’s Research Center found a link between cavities, children, and smoking.  Their study suggests that children are more likely to develop cavities if their parents are in the habit of smoking. Quitting smoking can aid in preventing cavities in toddlers.

If you have any questions about preventing cavities in toddlers, call or email us.

Dr. Brad Alderman

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