By the time they are two-years-old 1 in 10 children have at least 1 cavity. A cavity is
permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny opening or holes(1). A cavity develops when a tooth decays and is a hole that can grow bigger and deeper over time. (2) A healthy mouth and teeth are an important part of a child’s wellness. Many parents assume that cavities in baby teeth don’t matter because they would just lose them, but dental decay in baby teeth can negatively affect the child’s permanent teeth. A cavity in a baby tooth, the enamel layer begins to slowly erode. If left untreated, early loss could lead to empty spaces. This becomes a problem when the adult tooth is not ready to come and occupy the space. Empty spaces will cause the teeth to shift. (3) The best way to teach children good dental habits is to have a routine.
There are 7 mistakes that parents make with their kids’ health: (4)
(1) Letting kids brush alone,
(2) Letting them go to sleep with food stuck in their teeth,
(3) Not making or not keeping dentist appointments,
(4) Offering candy or sticky foods late at night before bed,
(5) Overlooking cavities,
(6) Filtering fluoride out of fluoridated water
(7) Not brushing all the spots that need to be brushed.
A child’s teeth usually appear between 6 months and 1-year-old. As soon as child’s teeth come in, you should begin cleaning them with a soft brush at least once a week. (5) As the child moves on to solid food, the teeth will need to be cleaned more and more often. If children don’t like the taste of mint toothpaste, there are several brands of toothpaste labeled for children with strawberry, fruit or watermelon flavors. Once the child is old enough to brush on his or her own you can let them brush with you watching. When should a child visit the dentist office? A child should visit a dentist by their first birthday or 6 months after their first tooth comes in (6) More than 18 million low-income children went without dental care, including routine exams, in 2014. Also in 2012, more than 4 million children did not receive needed dental care because their families could not afford it. (7)
Get Checked. Get Fit. Get Moving!™
1. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Cavities and Tooth Decay.” Mayo Clinic, 19 July 2017,