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How important is a child’s diet in the prevention of cavities?

While good oral hygiene is of utmost importance in the prevention of cavities, lack of a proper diet can have a tremendous impact on a child’s cavity rate. Limit not only the quantity of consumed sugary foods and beverages, but also the frequency throughout the day. Cavity formation is a process.When sugar comes in contact with teeth, the cavity process can begin. The more times in a day that we consume sugar, the more at risk we are for developing cavities. By nature, many children like to snack throughout the day and many of these foods, including juices, are loaded with sugar. Even some” healthy” foods can be very high in sugar content, including, granola bars, cereal, and chocolate milk. Check the nutritional label if you are uncertain as to how much sugar a food item contains. Have your child drink plenty of water following snaking.

What guidelines will help children remain cavity free?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends:

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day (for children 2 years or older.)
  • Floss children’s teeth once a day.
  • Visit your pediatric or general dentist regularly.
  • Ensure that fluoride is consumed through drinking water, fluoride products, and fluoride supplements.
  • Apply sealants to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars
  • Snack moderately, no more than twice a day. It is best to snack on foods with minimal or no sugar content. Fresh fruits and vegetables make great snacks.

At what age should my child visit the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist should occur by 12 months of age. This visit will enable the dentist to evaluate your child and introduce you to proper oral hygiene. Diet, fluoride, finger and pacifier habits and tooth eruption will be discussed to ensure optimal dental health. Discussing the prevention of oral infections and the prevention dental/facial injuries is the cornerstone to the year-one visit.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school, and are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.


Dr. Aaron Schwartz’s Publications



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