Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

How to Protect Your Child From Tooth Decay – Our Guide

Tooth decay is one of the most widespread oral diseases in children. In fact, the Surgeon General has even called tooth decay the silent epidemic. It was found that the pain from a toothache caused by tooth decay is almost the same as a broken arm or leg.

If you think that your little ones with little teeth are safe from cavities, think again. Even a one-year-old child with one tooth can get a cavity. With the excessive and high frequency of sugar exposures, children are now more prone to tooth decay than ever before, especially with poor tooth brushing and lack of fluoride exposure.

Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to prevent tooth decay and save your precious children from that kind of pain. Here are some of them:

1. Establish a Tooth Brushing Routine

You may not realize this, but children respond well to routines. The earlier your child gets in the habit of tooth brushing, the more likely they are going to carry that over into adolescence. Children may resist at first, but they should start to ease into the routine with constant reinforcement.

2. Keep Them Under Supervision

If your kid is younger than eight, help them brush their teeth and supervise them until they turn eleven. While eight-year-olds are skilled enough to tie their own shoes, they usually lack the skills to brush their own teeth properly. Therefore, as a parent, you need to make sure that their teeth are cleaned thoroughly to prevent cavities. Even when your kid is able to brush their own teeth, you should still keep an eye on them to make sure that they are doing it well. 

3. Make Regular Visits to the Dentist

Just as regular dentist appointments are crucial for adults, they are also important for kids as well. By visiting the dentist regularly, your kid will come to the realization on their own that oral health is an essential part of their overall health. Moreover, any early signs of tooth decay can be detected, and the problem can be stopped from progressing further.

4. Brush Their Teeth With Fluoride Toothpaste

Make sure that you get a toothpaste with fluoride for kids older than two. Check the recommended amount on the packaging and follow accordingly. When your kid finished brushing their teeth, have them spit out the toothpaste without rinsing. This is so that the fluoride can remain on their teeth to provide extra protection.

5. Reduce Sugar Intake

An excessive amount of sugar intake is one of the main culprits of tooth decay in children. Therefore, you should pay more attention to what your children eat, and most importantly, limit their sugar intake. 

6. Display Good Behavior

One thing that you can easily do to help your child develop a good oral habit is to take good care of your own teeth. Children love to imitate adults, and they will follow your good behavior if you consistently show them. For example, by brushing every night before going to bed, your kid will start to develop the habit as well.


Tooth decay can be painful. If you want to protect your child from having to go through this unpleasantness, then strictly follow the tips above.

Vitarelli Dental is a dental office based in Madison NJ, get in touch today to see how we can help you maintain a great set of teeth.

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