Cavities are a common dental issue among kids. They are damaged areas of the tooth surface that later develop into holes.
When left untreated, cavities can lead to speech and chewing difficulties. They can also compromise nutrition and hence impact your child’s overall health.
The good news is that you can help your child prevent dental cavities. With good oral hygiene habits and routine dental visits, you can keep your child’s smile free from cavities.
What Causes Dental Cavities
Cavities start with tooth decay. Tooth decay, on the other hand, is caused by harmful bacteria thriving in the mouth.
These bacteria are produced when certain food and drink residues linger in the mouth. They feed off food debris and soon generate acids. The process produces a sticky film called plaque that becomes difficult to remove once it hardens.
Plaque contains acid that strip the tooth enamel of minerals. When the enamel or hard surface of the tooth deteriorates, acid and bacteria progresses deeper into the tooth, leaving holes behind. Once the plaque reaches the dental pulp, it can cause severe pain and swelling. Your child may also experience heightened sensitivity.
If the plaque advances further, white blood cells may come to the rescue and fight off harmful bacteria. This can result to an abscess or accumulation of pus on the affected tooth area.
Preventing Dental Cavities
It may be challenging to spot dental cavities. It really helps to regularly visit the dental office for teeth cleanings and oral health evaluation.
Here are more tips to keep cavities at bay:
- Brush properly. Brushing should be done properly to ensure that no food debris are left behind. Drinking water after eating also helps flush food residues in case brushing is not possible. Your dentist or dental hygienist can teach your little one proper brushing techniques. Don’t hesitate to ask if you need help.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride content in toothpastes is minimal making it difficult to reach toxic levels. However, it’s still important to watch out for the amount of toothpaste your child is using. Depending on their age and ability to brush on their own, your child may require only a smear or pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Inquire about dental sealants. Dental sealants serve as a shield, protecting uneven tooth surfaces against bacteria. Food debris can no longer enter crevices and holes, hence also preventing cavities in the long run.
- Opt for healthy snacks. Incorporate healthy snacks into your child’s daily meal plan. Fruits and vegetables such as apples and carrots can serve as natural tooth cleaners.
Don’t let cavities ruin your child’s beautiful smile. Talk to us today at Rundle Dental about safeguarding your family’s oral health.