Keeping children cavity free is a goal for every parent, but it isn’t without challenges. Children love sweets and treats, and the marketing of these items to children is more sophisticated than ever. Instilling healthy habits and dietary choices can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are five tips and tricks to consider when it comes to helping prevent cavities in children.
- Don’t Stock Candy and Sodas in Your House: “I told you not to drink soda all the time!” and “I told you to stop eating so much candy!” are things you’ll often hear a parent tell a child after you break the news that they have several cavities. Where are they getting the candy and soda from? The kitchen. There’s just absolutely no reason to stock junk food in your house. The temptation for children to eat it all of the time is just too great!
- Still Enjoy Treats. Outside of Your House: There’s nothing wrong with a little ice cream, a candy bar, or a soft drink every now and then as a treat. It’s Friday night, so each child can pick one or two things to get at the gas station. After dinner, the family goes to Dairy Queen for Blizzards on Saturdays. It becomes a Saturday tradition, and it’s the only time anyone eats candy or sweet treats all week because there is nothing like that in your house. The likelihood your child will get cavities from only having sweet treats once a week is practically zero.
- Make Water No. 1: What are you going to replace all of the sodas, fruit juices and fake pretend healthy drinks with? Water. Ween your children off of soft drinks with sparkling water, then switch to plain water over time. Purchase bottled water to help transition your habits if you’re used to picking up a soda or a sports drink and going. Invest in a quality, reusable water bottle for your children so they can make drinking water a healthy habit.
“If you make your own dental hygiene a priority in your life, your children will notice.”
- Supervise Brushing: I see lots of pre-teens that don’t brush their teeth that much or do a poor job. As children get older, it’s hard to keep treating them like babies, but making sure they are doing a great job brushing is something that may need periodic attention. Look in your child’s mouth. Learn what plaque around the gum line looks like. If your child isn’t doing an adequate job, teach them. Invest in a quality, electric toothbrush just for them, and make sure they know how to use it properly.
- Be A Good Role Model: Outside of rare anomalies and genetic defects, everyone’s teeth are basically the same. Risk for cavities is mostly based on hygiene and dietary habits that we learn at a young age from our parents. If you make your own dental hygiene a priority in your life, your children will notice. If you make healthy choices when it comes to diet and frequency of sweets and treats, your children will learn what is acceptable and what isn’t. By being a good role model for your children, you can significantly increase the chances that they may never have a cavity!
For more information visit www.rollingoaksdental.com or call 210.880.4120. Rolling Oaks Dental is located at 6826 North Loop 1604 E., Suite 102 in San Antonio, Texas 78247.