Kids can be a handful, but getting them to do a good job brushing their teeth is one of the hardest tasks a parent can face. Sometimes, however, kids get cavities no matter how hard the parent tried, no matter how well or often the child brushed. Sometimes you just have a cavity-prone kid. Here's a few tricks that might help avoid the dental drill.
1. Brush more often: Most kids brush in the morning and at night. It simply isn't practical to brush at school. If yours keeps getting cavities, try requiring them to brush more. Add brushing after school, after they eat snacks, and after lunch on the weekends to the routine.
2. Teach them to floss: Flossing helps get bits of food and plaque out from between teeth and other areas where a toothbrush just can't reach. Teach your cavity-prone child to floss—and to floss correctly—in order to try and cut down on the cavities. Don't get frustrated. Flossing is tricky, and you only learn how to do it efficiently with lots of practice.
3. Avoid sweets and soda: Sweet treats and soda pop can coat a child's teeth in sugar. When the bacteria in your child's mouth encounters the sugar, it eats the sugar and gives off a tooth-attacking acid. This attack is called demineralization, and it can damage your child's enamel. Try curtailing their consumption of sweets until your next check-up to see if it helps.
4. Use mouth wash: While most children start using mouthwash in their tweens and teens, it is never too early to start the cavity-prone kid. Anything and everything you can do to clean those teeth will help. Show them how to swish-swish the mouthwash and spit—not swallow!
5. Schedule extra cleanings: Most dental insurance policies cover two dental cleanings per year, once every six months. There is no reason, however, that you have to stick to that schedule. Try scheduling cleanings quarterly, or every three months, for that particular member of your family. While your insurance policy probably won't cover the extra cleanings, talk to your dentist. They may offer a cash discount to make it affordable for you to pay out of pocket fort the extra cleanings. An extra visit with the hygienist is certainly less expensive—and less painful—than a visit with the dentist for a filling.
Parents need to get creative and try every avenue available to them to protect their children's teeth, even those belonging to the cavity-prone kid. For additional tips, reach out to your local dentist.