Cavities in kids are most often caused by poor oral hygiene. However, diet can also play a role. When a child eats a lot of sugary, starchy foods, it can promote tooth decay.
When a baby’s teeth are forming, they are more susceptible to tooth decay. During this time, babies need a special type of infant formula that is less likely to cause cavities.
Here are a few other ways to prevent cavities:
Fluoride hardens the enamel of teeth, which helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, fluoride is the best cavity-prevention method available.
Fluoride occurs naturally in water, but getting enough fluoride is important. Fluoride not only helps to prevent cavities, but it also prevents other issues like gum disease and infections.
Dental visits can be scary for kids, especially if they’ve never visited a dentist before. You can help ease their nerves by making the dental visit fun. Use dental-friendly language, such as “clean teeth” instead of “cavities.” Once your child gets comfortable, have them pick out their favorite toothbrush or toothpaste.
Speaking of healthy foods, make sure your kids eat a well-balanced diet. This means making sure they’re eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Foods such as white flour, soda, and candy are not good for your teeth. Limit these foods and make sure your kids love brushing their teeth.
A cavity is a hole in your tooth caused by tooth decay. The most common cause of tooth decay is bacteria. These bacteria cause plaque to form around your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it will eat away at your tooth enamel. Plaque also produces an acid that eats away at your teeth. This can cause cavities in children and adults.
The best way to fight tooth decay is to prevent it in the first place. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the best way to remove plaque. Brushing in the morning and before bed helps to prevent plaque from forming.
The best way to prevent cavities in kids is to limit their exposure to sugary drinks and food. When kids drink or eat sugary foods and liquids, their teeth are under attack! The bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugars in food and produce acid as a byproduct. Over time, this acid breaks down our teeth’s enamel.
As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing. Flossing removes plaque and food particles between the teeth.
Brushing alone only cleans about 60% of the tooth surfaces, so flossing helps to remove the plaque and bacteria left behind.
Sticky or hard foods, such as caramels, candies, popcorn, and granola bars, are hard for teeth to chew and can cause cavities.
Even healthy foods, such as raisins and dried fruit, are sticky and hard. Because of this, they can cause cavities in kids.
If you must give your child hard or sticky foods, such as popcorn and dried fruit, have them eat them with a meal and brush their teeth right after.
To learn more about Little Bytes Pediatric Dentistry, Palo Alto, or to schedule an appointment to meet our dentists and team, call us at (650) 322-9837.