Cavities in children are common and occur when carbohydrates and sugars stick to the teeth. This creates a film which eventually eats away at the enamel, or outer layer, of the teeth.
Common Causes of Cavities
Generally, cavities are caused by a diet high in sugar or inadequate dental hygiene. Sugary or sticky foods tend to cause erosion of the teeth faster than other foods. Also, snacking tends to be a factor in childhood cavities. A healthy diet is a great way to avoid childhood cavities.
How to Prevent Cavities
The best way to prevent cavities is to practice good oral hygiene from birth. Before teeth have erupted, the gums can be swept with a damp washcloth to remove film. When teeth are present, it is best to brush them at least twice per day. Flossing can help remove debris from between the teeth and under the gum line, which prevents cavities and tartar buildup.
Healthy eating habits can also prevent cavities. Eating or drinking anything other than water before bedtime is a factor for cavities. Also, babies should not go to bed with a bottle. Candy is a huge offender for cavities. It is best to offer candy at a maximum of a few times per week and never multiple times per day.
Symptoms of a Cavity
If your child develops a cavity, it could go undetected. When symptoms do arise, children often wake up through the night. Children will sometimes complain of a toothache or tooth sensitivity.
Regular Dentist Appointments
Routine dental evaluations are important to prevent and treat cavities. Aside from removing any tartar that could be present on your child’s teeth, the dentist can apply sealants. These sealants help protect the vulnerable back teeth from decay. Also, the dentist can use a potent fluoride rinse to help strengthen and protect the teeth.
The best defense against childhood cavities is prevention. Through a balanced diet, proper dental care and routine dental appointments every 6 months, cavities can often be avoided.
For a family dentist in the Bolivar, Missouri area, look to Dr. Paul Gonzales at Bolivar Family Dental. Feel free to call us at (417) 777-8654 with questions or concerns you have about your child’s dental health or to schedule a check-up.
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Little Girl Brushing Teeth
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