When it comes to dental care, getting an early start is a must. If you have children, keeping their teeth free of decay can set them up for a healthy mouth throughout their adult lives. Unfortunately, tooth decay in children is more common than you may realize. Around 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have cavities in their baby teeth, while 21 percent of children ages 6 to 11 have cavities in their permanent teeth. Failure to take steps to protect your child's teeth can lead to major dental problems down the road. Here are three tips for keeping your child's teeth healthy.
Get Started Early
When it comes to preventing dental decay, the earlier you start, the better. A visit to your family dentist is a must before either by the age of 1 or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. After that first visit, cleanings and regular dental visits are recommended every 6 months. Visiting a dentist like Clendenon Kirby DDS on a regular basis is a necessary part of tracking your child's dental development and for monitoring any signs of decay. Regular visits can stop dental problems before they become major issues.
Develop Good Habits
When it comes to keeping your child's teeth healthy, good habits are essential. This means working with your child to develop proper brushing and flossing habits early on. Brushing your child's teeth as soon as they erupt with a wet toothbrush is recommended. You can also start adding fluoride toothpaste by age 3. Teeth cleanings are also an essential part of keeping your child's teeth healthy. The average cost of a teeth cleaning is between $80 and $175. If you have dental insurance, the cost of a teeth cleaning can be much lower or even free.
Consider Dental Sealants
Even with good oral care, some children may be more susceptible to dental decay than others. The good news is that dental sealants may help. These sealants are applied to the teeth in order prevent cavities and decay. They cost between $30 and $40 per tooth and may be covered by your dental insurance. Dental sealants have been found to reduce cavities in children by up to 60 percent for 4 years or more. If your child is prone to decay, dental sealants can help prevent the need for fillings and other procedures in the future.
Protecting your child's teeth is a must. Getting started early can help prevent dental decay and other cavities in both baby teeth and permanent teeth. You should also work with your child to develop good dental habits and ensure that they get regular teeth cleanings. Dental sealants are also a great option for children who are cavity-prone.