On The Offense
To minimize cavities in kids, the US Preventative Services Task Force is suggesting that primary care clinicians apply fluoride varnish to the teeth of all infants and children. In Canada, the Canadian Dental Association suggests that, following a clinical examination and cavities risk assessment, and with informed consent from caregivers, high-risk children be prescribed fluoride supplements to strengthen their teeth.
With cavities ranked as the most common chronic disease in children – rates are steadily on the rise – the goal is to prevent their formation. And while these measures would help countless kids across our nation, the best way to avoid cavities is a parent-led approach that follows these steps:
- Babies should have their gums wiped with a clean cloth after their first feeding and before bed each day
- Parents should brush erupted teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and water
- Babies should see a dentist around their first birthday to ensure their oral health is optimal
- Older children should have their teeth brushed twice daily with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
- Parents should consider having dental sealants applied to their child’s molars to prevent cavity formation.