Cavities are like tiny troublemakers that can sneak into the smiles of our little ones. But, how do kids get cavities in the first place? And, should we even be concerned about cavities in the first place? If you know what causes cavities, you can help your child avoid these pesky bacteria.
The Sweet Story: How Cavities Begin
The primary driver in cavity creation is sugar. When kids eat sugary treats and drinks, the sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth. As a result, it forms acid. This acid, in turn, erodes the enamel. This is the protective layer of the teeth. When it is damaged, there is a higher chance of cavities.
Imagine a superhero without a cape – that’s a tooth without proper brushing and flossing. When kids neglect their oral hygiene, plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on their teeth. Over time, this plaque turns into tartar. This creates a breeding ground for cavities.
Where Cavities Love to Hide
Back teeth, known as molars, often have deep grooves and crevices where food particles can get stuck. Kids might find it hard to clean these areas. As a result, it makes molars a hotspot for cavities. Kids, especially younger ones, might focus on brushing the front teeth, neglecting the molars. This oversight can lead to cavities in the back of the mouth.
How Cavities Affect Kids
Cavities are notorious for causing toothaches. The decay eats away at the tooth, exposing nerves and leading to discomfort. Kids might have pain while eating or drinking, affecting their overall well-being.
Toothaches can disrupt sleep, causing discomfort that keeps kids awake at night. This lack of quality sleep can impact their mood, energy levels, and ability to concentrate during the day.
Finally, cavities can make eating a challenge. Kids may avoid certain foods or struggle to chew comfortably, leading to nutritional concerns and potential weight loss.
Tips for Parents
While it’s unrealistic to eliminate sweets entirely, moderating sugary snacks and drinks can significantly reduce cavity risk.
Until kids master proper brushing techniques, parental supervision is crucial. Ensure they brush for at least two minutes, reaching all teeth. This includes the neglected molars. This can help set your children up for future success. These habits can benefit them for an entire lifetime.
Routine visits to the dentist are a vital part of cavity prevention. Professional cleanings and early detection of cavities can save kids from unnecessary pain and issues. Plus, the sooner you get your kids to the dentist, the better. They can adjust to the routine and have less anxiety.
Addressing Cavities Early
If cavities are detected early, the dentist may recommend fillings. These fillings replace the decayed portion of the tooth, preventing further damage. It is a routine and relatively painless procedure.
Dental sealants are protective coatings applied to the molars’ surfaces, sealing off crevices and preventing food particles from getting trapped. They act as shields against cavity invasions.