Here at Five Towns Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Yehuda Marciano DDS is dedicated to preventing cavities in children.
Though most adults don’t think about it, it is quite common for children to get cavities. There are two reasons that cavities develop so frequently in children. First, children often do not brush their teeth the way they should. Second, they eat sugary diets and drink sugary beverages.
Cavities can be very painful for children. If left untreated, they can lead to decay and periodontitis. For this reason, parents need to make sure their children are eating well and taking care of their teeth at home. It is also important that children visit the dentist twice a year to help prevent cavities and maintain good oral health.
Cavities are caused by eating sugary food regularly. Sugars and carbohydrates stick to the teeth. Then plaque (a sticky film) forms on the enamel of the teeth. Bacteria that lives in the plaque continues to build up as more sugary food is consumed. The bacteria emit acid which weakens the enamel, making it more vulnerable to tooth decay. If the condition isn’t treated, the acid breaks down the enamel and moves inward.
Even though your children will lose their baby teeth, these teeth are still important and need to be taken care of. Children need to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. They also need to visit their dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. During those visits, the dentist may seal their teeth. The dentist may also use a fluoride supplement to strengthen their teeth.
Even if you take good care of your children’s mouths, you need to keep an eye out for cavities. Though large ones can be painful, your children may not notice the smaller one. The sooner cavities are caught, the easier they are to treat.
For this reason, you should keep an eye out for symptoms of cavities. Children may complain about a toothache or general pain in their mouths. You may notice sensitivity to cold or hot foods. Some children wake up in the middle of the night crying from the pain.
Sometimes cavities are so small that dentists need to use x-rays to find them. If you think that your child has a cavity, it is important to have him or her seen right away.
There are many ways to prevent cavities. Regular dental visits and good home care are necessary for good health. You should also watch your children’s diet. Cut out sugar, sticky foods, and other snacks and drinks that can cause cavities. Snacking also exposes the teeth to extra sugar during the day. It is important to not give your children drinks at bedtime because the sugar in the drinks will just sit in your children’s mouths all night long.
Sippy cups also have been known to cause cavities because the sugary liquid in them sticks to children’s teeth. Pacifiers can also cause bacteria to grow in children’s mouths. They should be washed thoroughly in a sink not in your own mouth, which transfers bacteria. You should never dip a pacifier in anything even in an effort to calm a child. Honey or any other sugary substance will stick to children’s teeth and allow cavities to form.
The best way to maintain your children’s good dental health is regular brushing and flossing. They also need to visit the dentist regularly to make sure they don’t have any cavities or to get any cavities they do have taken care of right away.