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Here at Scenic Bluffs Health Centers we would like to join the ADA in encouraging healthy dental habits. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Despite the fact that it’s almost entirely preventable, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases in children. Tooth decay can occur when a baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a crying baby. Sugary drinks also cause tooth decay. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning

The good news is there are safe and effective preventive measures that can protect teeth. Good oral hygiene practices such as thorough brushing with fluoride toothpaste can help keep children from getting cavities. In addition, community water fluoridation and dental sealants are two other strategies that can help prevent tooth decay.

Sealants are a fast and easy way of protecting your child’s teeth that act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves. Sealing a tooth is fast and there is virtually no discomfort. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but may have to be reapplied if needed. Both primary and permanent teeth can benefit from sealants.

Here are some additional tips to help reduce your children’s risk of tooth decay:

  • Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
  • Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
  • If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless – Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
  • Monitor beverage consumption – Instead of soft drinks, children should choose water.
  • Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.
  • Schedule regular dental visit