Fluoride is an integral component in keeping teeth (baby teeth and adult teeth) healthy. Fluoride is included in a low concentration in most tap water so it can be absorbed systemically. It is also included in toothpaste and some mouthwashes in low concentrations, as well. Fluoride strengthens the enamel (the outer structure of the teeth) to prevent bacteria and acids from penetrating through, causing cavities. Xylitol can also be used in order to avoid cavities. Xylitol works by reducing the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. Xylitol can be found in toothpaste, mouth rinses, gum and even some candies.
Low Sugar Diet
A diet high in sugar is a significant precursor for cavities. By giving your child less sugary snacks, you can significantly reduce their risk for cavities. The kinds of sugary foods that are the most cavity-causing are sticky, gummy, and chewy foods such as candies and dried fruit. In other words, foods that will get stuck in their teeth and increase the exposure time to sugar. If your child eats something sweet, brush their teeth after if you can, and if not, have them rinse their mouth with water.
Brushing & Flossing
Of course, brushing and flossing are essential parts of keeping baby teeth healthy. It is recommended to brush at least twice a day and to floss at least once a day. Help your child brush and floss their teeth until around the age of 6-8. Flossing should start around four years old, or whenever the spaces between their teeth begin to close.
Wear a Sports Guard
If your child plays any contact sports such as soccer, hockey or basketball, they need to wear a custom-fitted sports guard to protect their teeth.
Regular Check-ups and Cleanings
Lastly, make sure to bring your child in for their regular check-ups and cleanings. It is usually recommended every six months but may be recommended more frequently if there have been any concerns with their teeth or gums.