Parenting 101: Five Ways to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Cavity Free

Parenting 101: Five Ways to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Cavity Free

Whether it's hot chocolate in the winter or ice pops in the summertime, most kids love to enjoy a sweet seasonal snack! Unfortunately, all those tasty sugary treats aren’t good for your child’s teeth and can lead to cavities.

What is a Cavity?
A cavity develops when a tooth decays, or breaks down. A cavity is a hole that can grow bigger and deeper over time.

It’s hard to deny those cute little faces some sweet goodies. However, did you know, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 already have cavities? WOW is right. A healthy mouth is much more important  than you may think.

kid dentistThe American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says children who are frequently exposed to sugary liquids—such as milk, breast milk, formula, fruit juice, and other sweet liquids—for long periods of time run a great risk of suffering from Early Childhood Caries (ECC).

ECC is an infectious disease that can begin as early as the teeth begin to come in (around 6 months or so) and can cause great pain to children. Left untreated, it can destroy your child’s teeth, and have a lasting effect on your child’s overall general health.

To help you and your children maintain a healthy cavity free smile - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas created the BlueCare Dental ConnectionSM. This program offers dental plan members tools and information from organizations, like the American Dental Association that specialize in dental health. We’ve pulled some helpful information from our Dental Wellness CenterTM to help you and your child’s teeth avoid cavities.

5 tips to keep your child’s teeth cavity free all year

  1. Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.
  2. Drink fluoridated water to help prevent tooth decay.
  3. Remember, sugary foods and drinks consumed as part of a meal are less harmful than when they're consumed as a snack. That's because saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
  4. Limit between-meal snacks. Choose nutritious foods for snacks and consider chewing sugarless gum after a snack.
  5. Encourage your children to eat more fruits and vegetables and less sweets.

How do you help your kids understand the importance of dental hygiene? Do you have any tricks or games you play to help them enjoy learning?

Originally published 7/7/2015; Revised 2018