Prevention

Is chewing gum good or bath for my child’s teeth?

Chewing gum can be good as long as it is sugar-free. Chewing gum can stimulate saliva production and clean away food debris. The saliva will also bring minerals that are good for teeth. Gum with sugar is bad for theeth and will cause cavities.

Are gummy vitamins, fruit snack, or fruit roll-ups bad for my child’s teeth?

Gummy Vitamins, Fruit Snacks, and Fruit Roll-ups are not healthy for your child’s teeth. They contain sugar and because of their texture, they stick to the teeth and remain in your child’s teeth for long periods of time. The daily intake of these items, coupled with the amount of sugar and stickiness, can cause cavities. A few options to replace these are items are as follows: For gummy vitamins, try to look for sugar-free gummy vitamins. If unable, try to replace them with children’s liquid vitamins or chewable vitamins. For Fruit Snacks and Fruit Roll ups, try to replace them with providing your child with actual fruits in their diet.

What are dental sealants?

Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.

What is dental fluoride and how can it help my child’s teeth?

When the element fluoride is used in small amounts on a routine basis it helps to prevent tooth decay. It encourages “demineralization,” a strengthening of weak areas on the teeth. These spots are the beginning of cavity formation. Fluoride occurs naturally in water and in many different foods, as well as in dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, gels, varnish and supplements. Fluoride is effective when combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene. Fluoride Supplements are not needed as much as they were in the past. Your child may get fluoride from water and certain foods such as juices and canned foods. Talk to your dentist or pediatrician before initiating any fluoride supplementation.

What can I do to prevent dental cavities?

Maintaining good oral health as well as a well-balance and healthy diet should help your child avoid any cavities. Brushing twice a day with fluorinated toothpaste and flossing at nighttime should be an everyday routine. We recommend for parents to help brush their child’s teeth until they are 7-8 years old. A good rule of thumb is that if your child can tie his/her shoes, then he can brush his/her teeth on his/her own. Another important factor is to make sure your child has a balanced and healthy diet. Juice has lot of sugar, therefore, we recommend to limit juice to one serving a day with a meal. For the rest of the day, give your child water and milk to drink. If your child or teenager likes to drink sports drink, we recommend these to be used only after any athletic activity as they replenish fluids. Sports drinks contain sugar which may lead to dental cavities. Replace these with regular or flavored water. Lastly, it is important to have your child to get his/her dental check-up at least every 6 months to maintain his/her beautiful smile in a healthy status.

What kind of toothpaste should I use for my child?

Your child should use toothpaste with fluoride and we recommend toothpaste that contains the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used after age 2-3, parents should perform the brushing up to the age of 7-8 years of age and use no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.