Prevention

The best offense is a good defense.

Tomorrow depends on the dental care your child gets today. A healthy kid is a happy kid, as oral hygiene can affect everything from nutrition and self-esteem to academics and speech.

Leap is here to help parents with prevention. Our goal is to give families the tools and resources to make caring for teeth an easy and everyday thing. After your first visit, we recommend an appointment every six months. This helps us and you stay on top of things while also establishing consistency for your child to form good habits.

Learn more about Preventative Dentistry from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Brushing

It’s best to brush twice a day, once in the morning and then again before bed. You’ll want to have a small and soft brush with rounded bristles that isn’t more than three-months-old. Use small circle motions to brush gums and teeth, but try not brush too hard or you may do some damage. Brush all around, but especially on your back teeth, and make sure to not forget your tongue.

Mother And Daughter Brushing Teeth Together

Flossing

Flossing helps remove plaque between teeth and prevent gum disease. These areas are hard to reach with a toothbrush, making it important to floss every day. Take a piece of floss about a foot and a half long. Then wrap one end around one of your middle fingers and the other end around your other middle finger, until your hands are a few inches apart. Carefully work the floss between each of your teeth and towards your gums. Be sure to get beneath the gums and move up and down several times. Also, try not to pop the floss in and out, because it can cause irritation.

Nutrition

You probably know sugary stuff can cause cavities. But did you know that starch could be a problem too? When starch is broken down, it can turn into sugar. It’s good to avoid foods like raisins or fruit snacks too. These items can get stuck to your teeth very easily. Instead, think about substituting friendlier foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables or dairy products like cheese and yogurt. It’s also best to not have too many sugary drinks like juice or soda. You can swap these liquids out in favor of things such as milk and water.

Child eating apple

Caries & Cavities

Good hygiene is the first step towards preventing cavities. Through better care and nutrition, we can help our kids avoid unhealthy teeth. Caries is the medical term for the disease that leads to cavities. By creating an environment for strong and beautiful teeth, we can keep our children from ever going down a road of poor hygiene that leads to caries and then, ultimately, to cavities.

Xylitol is a natural sugar that can get rid of the bacteria known to create cavities. It also has other benefits as well, including preventing ear infections. At Leap, we recommend the use of products sweetened with Xylitol. Some items to look for with this ingredient are mints, gums and rinses. Using these products consistently over time can help keep your child from getting cavities.

Parents Magazine: The Surprising Truth About Cavities