Cavities in children are common. Child cavities occur as a result of the interaction of the bacteria natural to the mouth and the sugars we eat as part of our everyday diet. The reaction causes acids to form that break down our teeth, forming a cavity. While cavities can be painful and unexpected, the pediatric and children’s dentists at Smiles for Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics treat and prevent child cavities.
A cavity occurs when sugars are converted to acid by bacteria in the mouth. The reaction takes about twenty minutes, during which time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, leading to cavities.
Cavities form in children for different reasons than adults. Cavities in children may cause sleeplessness, fevers, irritability and reduced appetite; cavities also hinder your child’s oral development as their adult teeth grow in. Children are likely to form cavities for reasons like:
Early childhood caries often occur when children fall asleep while drinking from a bottle or sippy cup. It is characterized by tooth decay that occurs when sugars in the bottle react with bacteria in the mouth. Avoid a sugary diet and do not allow your child to drink while preparing for naps or bedtime.
To begin with, brush your child’s teeth until they are about five or six years old. From age five to ten, be sure to floss your child’s teeth. Other tips to prevent cavities in children:
Floss every day. Once all of your child’s teeth are grown, it is the small spaces in between teeth that are prone to cavities.
Reduce sugar consumption. Since the reaction between oral bacteria and sugar causes cavities, be sure to reduce your child’s sugar intake to no more than three times a day.
Visit the dentist regularly. Your child should be brought to a pediatric dentist before age two, and visit the dentist every six months for an examination.
Use dental sealants. Most pediatric dentists recommend dental sealants to protect teeth from plaque buildup.
Fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments are simple, painless and help prevent child tooth decay.
Preventing and treating cavities can be overwhelming for some children. If your child is uncomfortable at the dentist, we offer optional sedation dentistry to help them through the procedure. Laughing Gas eases patient discomfort with little to no side-effects.
Smiles for Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics has a 98% patient satisfaction rate. Not only are we referred by family and friends, we are also one of the most-referred dental offices by other health professionals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. To set up an appointment with one of our pediatric dentists, contact us today.