Instilling good oral hygiene habits in your children from a young age can help prevent cavities. In fact, it's never too early to focus on tooth decay prevention. Robert Beckelman, DMD, PLLC, and Howard Kletter, DDS, who offer family dentistry services in Garden City, explain why early cavity protection is so important.
Baby teeth have a purpose
It's true that your child will eventually lose his or her baby teeth, but that doesn't mean there are no consequences if these teeth are lost prematurely due to tooth decay. Baby teeth act as space holders for permanent teeth and help guide those teeth into position.
When your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, his or her other tooth may eventually drift into the space. If that happens, there many no longer be enough room in your child's mouth for the permanent tooth, and it may grow in crooked, which can affect the alignment of the other teeth. Since overlapping teeth are harder to clean, the loss of one tooth may lead to even more cavities later.
Cavity protection helps your child avoid dental procedures
Brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings and exams help prevent tooth decay. If your child doesn't maintain good oral hygiene habits or doesn't receive regular dental care, he or she may experience a cavity at a young age. Although cavities are a problem no matter what your age, receiving a filling can be a little traumatic for a young child who may not understand why he or she is receiving the treatment. Fillings also tend to weaken teeth a little and usually don't last forever. At some point in time, he or she will probably need to replace that filling.
How to prevent cavities
Preventing cavities starts with developing a daily oral hygiene routine the moment that your child's first baby tooth pops through his or her gums. Brush the tooth with a soft child's toothbrush and a small dab of fluoridated toothpaste. Before teeth erupt, use a washcloth to clean your child's gums after a feeding. Schedule a visit with your dentist when your child turns one and make sure he or she visits the dentist every six months. When your child's permanent molars erupt, ask your dentist about sealants. Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and offer excellent protection from tooth decay.
Ready to make an appointment for family dentistry services in Garden City? Call Robert Beckelman, DMD, PLLC, and Howard Kletter, DDS, at (516) 256-2424 and make an appointment today. Healthy smiles start early!