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Basic Tips on Protecting Your Kids’ Teeth from Cavities

Mar 06, 2012

Did you know that tooth decay in children is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever? By kindergarten age, more than 40 percent of kids have tooth decay, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Fortunately there are several basic steps parents can take in monitoring their child’s diet and sugar intake that will help avert the possibility their child will end up on the wrong side of those tooth decay statistics.

Below are six action steps proposed by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to promote healthier teeth:

  • Offer your child water or low-fat milk instead of soda or juice. Sodas quickly damage the enamel in kids’ teeth because the teeth are still porous and fruit juices previously regarded as healthy are loaded with sugar.
  • Allow your kids to chew only sugarless gum. Some sugarless gums contain Xylitol, a sugar alcohol that is proving helpful in preventing tooth decay and recreating tooth enamel damaged from ingesting high-sugar foods and drinks.
  • Skip meals and snacks that usually contain a lot of added sugar. 
  • Teach your child those everyday foods that can help or harm dental health. For example, apples and celery are excellent “polishers” of teeth but sour candies and sports drinks contain acids and sugars that can accelerate the development of tooth decay and childhood obesity.
  • Ensure that your child receives proper dental care, starting at a very early age. Experts advise that parents should schedule their child’s first dental visit by age one. And brushing should begin earlier than that. Even if your baby has just one tooth, experts say you can begin brushing their gums with gauze.
  • Practice proper dental hygiene throughout your household. Instill good oral hygiene habits early with your kids by being a good example with your personal brushing and flossing habits.

    Sources: Web MD, HealthDay,

    Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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