Preventing cavities in a child’s teeth is a constant battle for most parents, and it is true that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. The best way to prevent problems in your child’s teeth is to help them develop their own good habits of brushing and flossing daily. But in addition to that, teach them the importance of a healthy diet and limiting candy and sports drinks, which wreak havoc on teeth. Another proactive way to prevent cavities is to have sealants applied to your child’s teeth. Sealants will provide a barrier between foods and your child’s teeth (typically the molars, which are prone to cavities) to further protect against cavities.
Another preventive measure is to look for products containing xylitol. You may have noticed on the packaging for sugarless gum, toothpaste and other products an ingredient called xylitol. What is xylitol and why is it important to dental care? Xylitol is a sweet substance that can be used to sweeten foods without using sugar or other sweeteners which can leave a bitter aftertaste. Xylitol is an ingredient in some toothpaste because it not only improves the taste but helps to prevent plaque build-up. It is also a natural substance, unlike some sweeteners. Chewing sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol can help keep your teeth healthy, and because it tastes good, your children will enjoy it, too!