Cavities are bad news for your child’s dental health. When they occur, cavities can eat away at the tooth's natural tissue, and over time this can even lead to a tooth infection.
Left untreated, cavities can even cause permanent damage to the child’s teeth and require extensive restorative dental procedures to improve their oral health. Good at-home oral hygiene is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of cavities, but even with brushing two times a day and flossing, some children can seem more prone to cavities.
Why is that?
What Causes Cavities?
Everyone’s teeth are covered in bacteria. Every time you or your child eats a meal or a snack, the bacteria will take the sugars from the food and turn them into acids, which can break down the enamel of the tooth. If it gets through the enamel, it can lead to a hole, which is known as a cavity.
By brushing the child’s teeth, the risk of cavities forming can be greatly diminished. However, what the child eats and drinks in between meal times is incredibly important to their long-term dental health, and can directly make them more prone to cavities.
Foods and Drinks That Can Lead to Cavities
Here is a list of some common foods and drinks that can increase your child’s risk of cavities:
- Candy or sugary treats
- Soft drinks, no matter if sugar-free or not because they contain acid
- Citrus fruits
- Crackers or other highly-processed treats
- Pre-made foods or sauces which can contain high levels of sugar (for example, pasta sauces), etc.
If your child normally indulges in these types of treats, then their risks for cavities, unfortunately, increase tremendously.
Oral Hygiene Tips to Avoid Cavities
It’s not all bad news, however, and there are lots of ways for parents to decrease the risk of cavities in their children.
It can be difficult to prevent your child from eating their favorite sugary treat, and nor should you have to. Instead, try to offer them more diverse snacks, and use these tips for better oral care:
- Brushing their teeth at least 2 times a day for 2 minutes using fluoride toothpaste
- Limit their snacking
- Opting for natural snacks like bananas instead of sugary treats
- Drinking plenty of water, which can help remove unwanted bacteria and food particles from the mouth
- Taking the child to routine dental appointments to allow the dentist to spot any cavities forming before they grow in size and cause pain for the child.
Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry Is Here to Help
If your child is prone to cavities or is due for their next dental appointment, we at Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry would be happy to help you stay on top of the little one’s oral health needs.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Leslie Butler today or call us at (714) 978-4274.