Brushing and flossing
Daily brushing and flossing are fundamental to a child's dental care. Brushing removes bacteria and prevents the formation of plaque on the teeth. Otherwise, bacteria in the plaque produce acid that eats away at the tooth's enamel and causes cavities. A child should begin brushing as soon as the first tooth comes in. Flossing is also important, as it removes bacteria and plaque that the toothbrush can't reach. With young children, floss their teeth daily. When the child is old enough, a floss holder can help. Your pediatric dentist can help develop a preventive plan to help your child avoid cavities.
What about fluoride?
Fluoride makes tooth enamel stronger in order to help prevent cavities. It's important to find out if your community water has fluoride. Ask your pediatric dentist if your child is getting the proper amount of fluoride. Your dentist will help create a preventive plan for your child with the optimal amount of fluoride that he or she may need.
Don't forget sealants
Sealants are a safe and effective way of protecting your child's back teeth from decay. A thin plastic coating is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant forms a barrier that doesn't allow food or bacteria to penetrate into the grooves and pits of those molars, protecting against cavities.
When to see the dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends parents take children to the pediatric dentist by the child's first birthday. In addition to checking your child's teeth and gums, the dentist will teach you about the development of the teeth and the different ways to keep them healthy. The dentist can also help develop a personalized plan to prevent cavities. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call (786) 624-3368.
For more information on dental care and cavity prevention, please visit the following web sites.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
American Dental Association
Nova Southeastern University