Preventing Cavities in Children
Just so we're on the same page, let’s first understand what a Dental Cavity is. They are visible small painful holes found right in a tooth. To the naked eye, they can look like brown, black, or grey spots.
Cavities are created over a period of time as a tooth’s enamel is slowly eroded away by acids from sugary substances your kids have indulged in. The holes then capture food particles which stay lodged in and decay, forming bacteria which eventually turns into plaque. That is the story of how cavities are born.
What Kind of Sweet Foods Erode Teeth?
Foods or drinks that have a high sugar/sucrose content are the most effective in wearing away a tooth’s enamel. And they accomplish this faster when they are allowed to stay stuck on teeth instead of being immediately rinsed out or washed out.
Specific foods that excel at destroying the integrity of your child’s teeth include;
- Soft drinks
All sodas, fruit juices, slurpies and similar drinks all have a high concentration of sugar. Some also contain phosphorous and carbonation which work hand in hand with sugar to erode the enamel of your child’s tooth.
Toffees, chocolate, lollies, jellies, sugar/chocolate coated pastries, and all the other delicacies with sugary goodness are all enamel eroders. The guiltiest sweets are the sticky ones because their stickiness means they don’t easily dissolve in the mouth or necessarily go away after brushing.
- Starchy foods
Rice, fries, peanut butter sandwich, pasta, and the like are all carbohydrate rich foods which the body eventually turns into sugar - Sugar that’s bad for the teeth.
I’m sure with these few honourable mentions you now have a clear picture of how sugary goodness and decadent eating might be endangering your child’s pearly whites.
So if for now your kids are eating sweets but don’t have any cavities, it’s safe to assume the cavities are simply biding time before making a grand arrival
But rather than wait for cavities to appear in your child’s teeth, there are preventive measures you can take to stop them.
How To Stop Cavities Forming
These steps towards avoiding cavity aren’t good practice just for kids, but for the whole family.
- Help your child maintain good oral hygiene: Make sure your child brushes and flosses at least twice a day. Oral experts, Advanced Dental Concept recommend, brushing after every meal with fluoride based toothpaste is a great way to keep a child’s teeth strong and healthy
- Encourage your child to eat fibre rich fruits and vegetables. This will help stimulate flow of saliva that effectively wash away food and neutralize bacteria related acids. Another way to accomplish this effectively is by chewing sugar free gum.
- Encourage your child to consume dairy products such as cheese, milk, or plain yogurt. They are rich in calcium and have been proven to prevent tooth decay
- Natural raisins contain polyphenols and flavonoids which prevent cavities, so feed them to your child.
- Using a straw to drink soft drinks will prevent most of the sugary drink from contacting your child’s teeth
If your child’s teeth are too far gone for these preventive measures then make sure to immediately make an appointment with a professional dentist