How to reduce the risk of further tooth decay with your child.
If your child still uses a bottle, one important step is to avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water. Putting your child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice – even if diluted with water – bathes your child’s teeth in liquids that can give bacteria the sugar they need for tooth decay to thrive inside your child’s mouth.
A critical preventive step for older children is to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Equally important is to watch the number of snacks containing sugar, which can be a challenge since most snacks contain sugar. The worst offenders are those that stay in the mouth a long time, like hard candies, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. And when your child does snack, choose nutritious foods like vegetable sticks, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese.
Beyond watching snack consumption, make sure your child has a healthy overall diet. Teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet, so it’s important that your child eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, another key to fighting tooth decay is to have your children see their pediatric dentist every six months starting with their first birthday.
If signs of early tooth decay are present, your child’s pediatric dentist might also recommend protective sealants or home fluoride treatments for your child. Sealants are most often likely to be recommended for application on hard-to-clean surfaces on your child’s molars to arrest decay.