Parents often ask our team, “How do my kids avoid cavities?” No one wants their child to suffer from toothaches and discomfort. Fortunately, children’s dentistry offers a few easy steps to protect little smiles from tooth decay. Changes to children’s diets and a preventive approach to oral care can reduce the risk of tooth decay in little smiles.
Preventing Cavities with Children’s Dentistry
Question: What causes cavities?
Answer: A cavity occurs when bacteria reaches the layers of dentin beneath the outer enamel. A variety of factors can allow this to happen, including cracking or chipping a tooth or weakening enamel as a result of poor oral hygiene. Understanding the causes of a cavity is one of the first steps towards preventing one.
Question: Does it matter what my kids are eating or drinking?
Answer: Yes. Consuming foods and drinks with a high amount of sugar or another starches can increase the risk of decay. When we fail to brush or floss properly, these sugar particles remain trapped between teeth. Bacteria break down the particles, boosting the levels of oral acidity and coating teeth in plaque in the process. The now weakened enamel can allow bacteria to reach the dentin and decay to form.
Question: When does my child need to see the dentist?
Answer: In general, we believe children need to see the dentist once every six months for a routine checkup and possibly a cleaning. Outside of this, if you child encounters regular tooth sensitivity or toothaches then we recommend seeing the dentist as soon as possible.
Question: Do children need dental fillings?
Answer: Yes. Even though baby teeth do fall out eventually, untreated decay can cause a painful infection or even premature tooth loss, which can lead to misalignment as permanent teeth erupt improperly.