What causes cavities in children?

Cavities are a common concern in toddlers and young children.

Taking care of your children’s teeth from a young age is important when it comes to maintaining their oral health in the long term. Unfortunately, tooth decay and cavities are common concerns in young children. Children’s baby teeth tend to be susceptible to cavities because the enamel is softer than adults’ teeth. Read on to find out what causes cavities in children, and what you can do to prevent them…

What causes cavities?

Cavities, which are small holes in the teeth, occur when dental plaque builds up and erodes the enamel. Plaque can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, but because children often don’t clean their teeth thoroughly enough, they are particularly prone to tooth decay and cavities. If your child is younger than six years old, it is important that you brush their teeth for them or at least supervise their brushing until they have mastered the technique.

Diet also plays an important role in the development of cavities. Children who eat lots of foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates are often at higher risk of tooth decay. Try and limit your child’s consumption of sweets and starchy snacks, such as candy, crackers, chips and cookies. Encourage them to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as calcium-rich dairy products like cheese, yoghurt and milk.

How do you know if your child has a cavity?

It can be difficult to know if your child has a cavity. There are, however, some signs that could indicate tooth decay. These include dark or white spots on the teeth; sensitivity to cold foods and drinks, a swollen mouth, lethargy, avoiding food and unexplained fussiness. If you are concerned about your child’s oral health, you must take them for a dental check-up as soon as possible. Your dentist will examine your child’s teeth thoroughly and let you know what the best course of action is if any signs of decay are identified.

Can you prevent cavities?

One of the best ways to prevent your children from developing cavities is to teach them proper oral hygiene habits and techniques from a young age. Set a good example by taking care of your teeth, we suggest supervising children while brushing and flossing when they’re still young. Similarly, make healthy eating a family habit, and see your dentist for regular check-ups.

When you take your child for a dental check-up, your dentist may recommend that they have fissure sealants placed. Fissure sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back molars and help to prevent decay by providing a barrier between plaque and the teeth. If you are interested in this preventative treatment, discuss it with your dentist and they will be able to answer any questions that you have and explain the procedure in detail to you.

How can we help?

At Kitchener Street Dental, we offer a range of children’s dentistry services. We encourage parents to bring their little ones in to see us for regular check-ups from an early age so that we can help to maintain their oral health. Our team is trained in treating children of all ages and we will do our best to ensure that your child has a comfortable and fun experience at our practice.

If you would like to find out more about children’s dentistry at Kitchener Street Dental, please have a look here.

If you would like to arrange an appointment for your child, please give us a call on 07 4638 5111 or get in touch with us here.  Besides children’s dentistry, we also offer a number of other treatments, including cosmetic, general and restorative dentistry, as well as orthodontics and solutions for obstructive sleep apnoea. If you would like to see a full list of treatments that we offer at Kitchener Street Dental, please have a look here. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.

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