Alderwood Children’s Dentistry Post

How To Prevent Childhood Cavities
Posted on 05/30/2017

How To Prevent Childhood Cavities

Girl Smiling

No matter your age, a healthy mouth means a healthy you. With things like cavities and tooth decay, they can not only lead to a variety of dental issues, but can also make you more susceptible to infections and other diseases. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 42 percent of kids in the U.S., ranging from the ages of 2 to 11, develop a cavity.

That’s why it’s so important to protect your kids from developing cavities and tooth decay while they’re young. Not only will cavity prevention help ensure that your children establish good oral hygiene habits, but will also ensure that they stay healthy as they grow up by avoiding tooth decay and other serious conditions.

What Causes Cavities & Tooth Decay In Kids

Tooth decay all begins with bacteria that forms in the mouth from things like food particles. If those food particles are allowed to stay stuck on your child’s teeth, they will eventually break down into bacteria that can combine with saliva to create an acidic substance that we commonly refer to as plaque. If plaque develops, it can start eating away at and cause serious damage to your children’s teeth.

With toddlers, one of the most common causes of tooth decay is allowing your baby to fall asleep with a bottle. If your child falls asleep with a bottle in their mouth, particles from the juice or milk that was in the bottle can attach to your child’s teeth. Even over one night, bacteria and plaque can start to cause damage to the teeth.

As for kids who are a little bit older, candy is a very common culprit. If you child has a sweet tooth, chewing and sucking on all that candy puts that sugar directly onto your child's teeth. When that sugar combines with saliva, it creates more acid that can wear away teeth quickly.

How To Prevent Your Kids From Getting Cavities

First of all, do your best to avoid situations that we mentioned above, such as leaving your baby with their bottle through the night, or allowing your kids to have a large amount of candy or sugary drinks. We even recommend avoiding foods that have a high amount of acid, such as citrus, since the acid can break down tooth enamel.

Secondly, and possibly the most important, is to maintain a consistent and comprehensive oral hygiene routine. For your toddler, we recommend brushing and flossing their teeth at least twice a day, and anytime after they eat to avoid exposure to food particles and bacteria. Of course, make sure you use kid-friendly toothpaste!  As they get older, make sure that they brush their own teeth, floss, and rinse regularly in order to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine.

Finally, always make sure that you take your children to the dentist for regular check ups. Their dentist can check their oral health to make sure they’re on the right track to maintaining a healthy smile. If there are any problems, the dentist can also provide treatment to prevent more serious issues.

Contact Alderwood Children’s Dentistry Today

If you have any questions about how you can protect your kids from developing cavities, contact your local Lynnwood dentist here at Alderwood Children’s Dentistry! We’ll be happy to help you with your questions. Dr. Clint Worton and our friendly staff are passionate when it comes to making sure that your child is healthy and keeps smiling bright!