In the early 1970s, nearly three-quarters of Canadian children had at least one decayed tooth. When it came to adolescents, the prevalence of tooth decay was even higher. Nearly 97% of Canadian adolescents in the 1970s had at least one decayed tooth. On average, a child or adolescent in Canada had six decayed, filled, or missing teeth.
Kids’ oral health statistics cratered in the early 1970s. At that point, nearly 97% of Canadian children and adolescents had at least one decayed tooth and an average of six missing, decaying or filled teeth. Thankfully, things have gotten better. As of 2010, the Canadian Dental Association reports that the average Canadian child or adolescent has 2.5 decayed, missing or filled teeth. How’d that average get so much lower in three decades or so? And what can parents and dentists who practice children’s dentistry in West Edmonton do to reduce the number of cavities in your child’s mouth?
Here’s What Pediatric Dentists Can Do To Help Kids
At every twice-yearly dental checkup, our children’s dentist in West Edmonton will closely examine your child’s teeth and gums. What are they looking for? Any signs of tooth decay or gum disease as early as possible so that they can intervene to prevent its progression as quickly as possible. Pediatric dentists also take regular dental images to find any lurking decay and track future teeth’ emergence.
Brushing and flossing are your child’s best defence against tooth decay, but any plaque left behind by those daily habits will harden to form tartar that is impossible to clean by brushing and flossing alone. Pediatric dentists and hygienists at our dental clinic near you will regularly clean your child’s teeth to eliminate plaque and tartar and remove plaque around and along your child’s gums.
The staff at our dental clinic in West Edmonton that specializes in treating kids may recommend that dental sealants be applied to deeply grooved or pitted surfaces on the biting surface of your child’s molars. The quick and easy application of those sealants prevents plaque from developing in those grooves, pits, and crevices.
At every dental checkup, our pediatric dentist and their staff will take time to update their knowledge of best practices regarding oral hygiene and even diet. They may demonstrate flossing techniques, recommend new products to suit your child’s particular needs, and recommend alternatives to sugary drinks or bottle feeding as your child grows and her teeth develop.
Here’s what parents can do to prevent cavities in their kids’ teeth
Your child’s good oral health requires a dedicated partnership between your child, her parents, and her pediatric dentist. At a very young age, your child’s oral health will depend on that partnership between you and a kids’ dentist in West Edmonton. In addition to our dentist’s strategies and services discussed above, parents can help reduce the risk of cavities in the following ways:
- Cleaning your infant’s gums with a soft brush or damp cloth
- Teaching your daughter or son to brush and floss daily — and doing it yourself for them to see
- Removing bottles from your child’s mouth before they fall asleep to avoid baby bottle tooth decay
- Restricting the number of sugary drinks your child consumes and choosing 100% unsweetened juice as often as possible
- Transitioning from bottles to open cups for beverages (other than breastmilk or formula) by roughly the age of 12 or 18 months
- Including as many nutritious foods in your child’s diet as possible to reduce the risks of tooth decay, including foods like cheese, whole grains, vegetables, whole fruit, cheese, milk, and yogurt
Cavities may seem like an inevitable part of childhood, almost like a rite of passage. They’re the consequence of preventable tooth decay — infections that can be eliminated to preserve your child’s health. Dentists who practice children’s dentistry near you will apply every possible strategy to reduce the risk of cavities in your child’s mouth. If your child doesn’t have a dentist yet, the staff at Westside Family Dental would love to meet them as soon as their first tooth arises or by their first birthday.