Cavities or tooth decay is when acid producing bacteria destroy tooth enamel and a pit, decay or quite simply a hole is formed as a result.
What are Cavities?
Cavities or tooth decay is when acid producing bacteria destroy tooth enamel and a pit, decay or a hole is formed as a result.
This happens when particles from bread or sugary foods like soda, raisins, candy or even milk are left on the teeth. Bacteria (plaque) thrive on these foods and produce acid. The acid will then eat away at your tooth’s enamel.
This slowly creates holes/cavities in teeth. Over time your child, if untreated, can experience toothaches or pain in the mouth. This is a direct result of cavities reaching deeper and deeper into the tooth, until it has reached the inside of the tooth and is touching the child’s nerve endings.
Preventing Cavities for Infants and Toddlers
Dental care does not begin when the first tooth appears. It begins before that. Before baby teeth appear, gently wipe gums and the inside of the baby’s mouth every day. This is most important after feedings and before bed. You can do this with a clean, warm cloth. This helps prevent any food debris from lingering and feeding bacteria.
Once the first tooth appears, you will then want to brush the baby’s tooth/teeth 2x a day. You can do this with a toothbrush for infants and toddlers. Training toothpaste without fluoride is recommended for healthy children that do not know how to spit. If you are using a toothpaste with fluoride in it before the age of 2 years old it is recommended to only use a small smear or about the size of a grain of rice. For 2 – 5 year olds the AAPD encourages a pea sized amount.
Develop Strong Personal Oral Care for Yourself & Your Child
Parents should ensure that they have strong oral habits as well and that their mouth is health and clean. Cavities are contagious and an unhealthy diet and poor teeth can easily be passed to children.
For a quick review of strong oral care, it’s much the same as our children.
- Brush and floss at least 2x a day
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
By watching yourself you can also do the same for your child.
Use Fluoride – Naturally Found in Aurora’s Water
The use of fluoride helps strengthen teeth by toughening your teeth’s enamel. This makes your child’s teeth stronger and less susceptible for acid to form cavities. For this reason, Many cities have fluoride in their water.
When it comes to picking drinks for your children, soda and sweet drinks will cause cavities. Whereas tap water can strengthen teeth and help prevent cavities.
Maintain a Healthy, Teeth Friendly Diet
Healthy food will always be a huge part of dental health. When it comes to diet it is best to limit breads, sugary foods, and drinks.
Obvious poor food choices include soda, candy, and juices. Some of the lesser known cavity causing foods are gummy vitamins, breads, dried fruits, chips, cheetos, chocolate milk, and basically any junk food. Additionally, a lot of medicines in the market are formulated with sugary liquids so that it is better tasting to children. Although, these vitamins and medicines can be good for some health problems, the extra sugar can harm the teeth. So when taking the medicine, make sure your child brushes afterwards.
Some foods that are good at limiting the chances of cavities include cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit. Basically, a healthy diet for your body will be healthy for your teeth also.