How to Prevent Cavities

Alderwood Children’s Dentistry is a pediatric dentistry practice dedicated to providing children with the dental care they need. Our office is conveniently located in Lynnwood, WA, and proudly serves patients living in the surrounding areas including Bothell. We want every child who visits us to leave our practice with a smile and our fun, up-beat and kid-friendly office and staff helps ensure that happens!

Our Lynnwood and Bothell pediatric dentist, Dr. Cliff, and his friendly team work hard to educate parents and their children about oral hygiene and best practices for preventative care. This ongoing education and the dental services we provide helps our patients avoid cavities. To learn more about cavities, how they form, and what can be done to avoid them, please read the following information.

What Causes Cavities

A cavity is the result of tooth decay, which is a process that starts when the bacteria in plaque damages the protective layer of the enamel on the tooth. As the decay progresses, it continues to spread deeper into the tooth until the innermost layer of the tooth called the pulp is affected. It is at this stage of tooth decay that causes sensitivity, toothache, and pain when biting.

Some of the most serious causes of cavities to avoid include:

  • Eating or drinking before bedtime
  • Going to bed with a bottle in the mouth
  • Certain eating and drinking habits like frequent snacking and sipping milk, juice, and other sugary beverages
  • Regular consumption of candy
  • Not brushing and flossing before bedtime
  • Frequently eating gummy bear vitamins and fruit snacks

    Avoiding Cavities

    Without question, the best way to avoid cavities is to practice good oral hygiene. Teaching young children proper brushing and flossing techniques can go far in keeping their teeth healthy and strong. For infants, parents should clean the teeth and gums after each bottle feeding using a piece of wet gauze, a clean washcloth or a toothbrush designed for very young children. It is very important to make sure you do not allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle in his/her mouth. Older children should eat a nutritional, balanced diet, limit their consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and do a good job of brushing and flossing every day. 


    In order to prevent cavities from forming, ensure that your children are doing a good job of brushing their teeth after every meal and before bedtime. Proper brushing can reduce bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque.

    Make sure your child is using a toothbrush made for children that has soft bristles and a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to replace the toothbrush with a new one as soon as the bristles start wearing down. Your Lynnwood pediatric dentist recommends routinely replacing your child’s toothbrush every three to four months as worn down bristles can make it difficult to reach all the surfaces of the teeth.


    When the teeth are flossed regularly, tiny bits of food and plaque are removed from between the teeth and along the gumline to keep the teeth and gums healthy. Our practice recommends that children floss at least once daily, preferably at bedtime. When your child first starts flossing, it is normal for the gums to bleed a little. If bleeding persists after the first few times, let us know at your child’s next appointment.


    Routine Checkups With Your Pediatric Dentist Are Important

    To pave the way for a lifetime of good dental health, Dr. Clint recommends visiting our office every six months for a checkup and cleaning. In addition to helping children avoid cavities, these routine dental visits can also help children avoid developing serious health problems in the future as oral health is linked to overall health. A few of the services we provide to help children keep their smiles healthy include:

    • Diagnostic examinations
    • Teeth cleanings
    • Fluoride treatment
    • Restorations of decayed teeth
    • Therapeutic pulp treatments
    • Extractions
    • Treatment for oral trauma

    Contact Your Lynnwood & Bothell Pediatric Dentistry Practice

    Dr. Clint and his team at Alderwood Children’s Dentistry want all our young patients to enjoy the many benefits that come with having healthy and attractive smiles. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s dental hygiene or overall oral health, please contact us to schedule an appointment time. We look forward to hearing from you soon!