(3-5 year olds)
Below you will find simple and effective tips to help prevent cavities.
For more detailed information, go to the Videos section
Brushing, Flossing &
* Let your children brush and then properly brush all of their teeth, all 5 surfaces (front, back, top and sides), twice a day, with a child's toothbrush that is appropriate for their age. When brushing, the key is to remove all food particles as well as any sugary or acidic liquid from your child's teeth twice a day. Children can not properly brush their teeth on their own at this time. You must be involved in this process.
* Brush your child's teeth with a Fluoride toothpaste and make sure that they spit the toothpaste. Swallowing toothpaste can be toxic and can affect your child's permanent teeth.
* Flossing should take place once a day or as much as possible. The best time to floss is at night right before going to bed. It keeps food stuck between the teeth from being ingested by acid-producing bacteria.
* Introduce a Fluoride mouthwash if your child can spit. It is best to use it right before going to sleep for additional prevention overnight.
* Your child will most likely refuse your help during this process. Do not let that discourage you. Eventually your child will realize that the routine is not going to change.
* Encourage your child to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. They will improve their health and help their young bodies grow strong.
* Avoid introducing your child to sticky types of sweets for as long as possible. The types of sweets that melt right away are the best kind to give your child.
* Getting your children to love drinking water is one of the best gifts you can give them.
* Cavities are formed by the acid that is produced when bacteria in our mouths ingest the sugar that we leave in our mouths after every meal. We have to properly remove the foods/drinks from our teeth, twice a day, to prevent cavities.
* Along with the bitewing radiographs that are regularly taken during Recare appointments, a Panoramic Radiograph is taken around the age of 5 or 6 to make sure that all permanent teeth, that have not come into the mouth yet, are present.
* Sealants will be highly recommended from now on every time a new permanent molar comes into the mouth.
The sealant material is placed in the pits and grooves of
the teeth to keep cavities from forming in the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
* Most children will lose the first set of front teeth by the age of 6.
*They will also gain the FIRST SET OF PERMANENT MOLARS behind the baby molars. Helping them reach and properly brush and floss their new set of molars is key to preventing one of the most common cavities that form on those molars. Children don't like to brush that far back because of their gag reflex. This fact is the reason most people have cavities in their 6 year molars.
* Sealants can help prevent cavities that occur in the chewing surfaces of teeth that have deep grooves and pits.