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How Parents Can Protect their Children’s Teeth from Cavities

According to reports from the Academy of General Dentistry, the dietary habits of schoolchildren tend to have a higher sugar intake that leads to a greater risk of cavities.

The researchers conducted a 15-month period study and tracked the dietary habits as well as monitored the teeth of preschool children before and after the start of school. Based on the results of the study, the children age five have 9.7 decayed, missing or filled teeth and initial cavities. As it age six, it jumped to 15.3 cavities, which is an increase of 5.6 cavities within one year. Meanwhile, the percentage of cavity-free schoolchildren decreased from 23 to 19 percent over the length of the study.

In order to prevent tooth decay and cavities at school, parents should monitor the eating habits of their children. One way for example is for parents to give their children healthy snack alternatives like apples, bite-size carrots or those foods that are naturally sweet. They should also instruct their children to avoid foods such as candies, chocolate, caramels, chocolate milk and those that contain refined sugar.

The main reason for that is cavity-causing organisms feed on sugar and turns it into acid. It will then attack the tooth enamel which causes tooth decay. Sticky and chewy candy must also be avoided as they linger on teeth throughout the day. If children eat sugary snacks, they should brush their teeth and rinse it with water. Eating a piece of fruit will also help in cleaning teeth surfaces and gums.

On the other hand, parents should also check their child’s school lunch program. If in case, programs do not offer healthy alternatives, parents should talk to the school and discuss about including healthy lunches or snacks.

Moreover, professionally-applied sealants is also another effective way to protect children’s teeth from cavities. Sealants is a thin coating of bonding material that’s applied over a tooth. It will act as a barrier to cavity-causing bacteria. It can be applied to the child’s teeth after the first permanent molars (back teeth) appear.



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