What causes cavities in children?
Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help.
The longer it takes your child to chew their foods and the longer the residue stays on their teeth, the greater the chances of getting cavities. Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digest the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately twenty minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities. Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn produces more of the acid-producing bacteria that causes cavities.
How to prevent cavities in children?
- Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
- Help your child brush and floss regularly.
- Avoid sticky foods (fruit rolls and sticky dried fruit).
- Make treats part of meals.
- Choose nutritious snacks.
- Do not reward or bribe your child using candy or other unhealthy foods.
- Ask your doctor about medications that may cause a dry mouth. Saliva is necessary to wash away food.
- Some medications are high in sugar. Brush teeth after using them.
- Avoid high carbohydrate/sugary sports drinks or juices. Most fruit juices (apple) are high in sugar and low in nutritional value.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance.
Protect your child’s smile from cavities
Contact us today with more questions about cavity prevention or to schedule your child’s next visit to the dentist!