Cavities are common in children across the world. When left untreated, cavities can be painful, and may lead to tooth decay and childhood periodontal disease if left untreated. There are several ways in which you can help prevent your child’s teeth from developing cavities. To learn more about cavity prevention in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and to set up an appointment with Dr. Joseph Maggio and associates, please call Adaptive Dental Associates at 908-847-4498.
The two main causes of cavities are poor oral hygiene and sugar-heavy diets. When teeth are exposed to sugary foods on a regular basis, the sugars collect on and around the teeth, eventually developing into plaque. The harmful bacteria contained in plaque then feeds on the sugars and emits an acid which corrodes the tooth enamel and causes cavities. While cavities form on the outside of the teeth, they may not always be visible to the eye. Smaller cavities or cavities which form between the teeth often need to be detected and diagnosed using digital X-rays.
Some common symptoms of cavities include:
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Sensitivity to spicy foods
- Nighttime waking and crying
Aside from bringing your child to the dentist twice each year for dental cleanings and exams, there are several things you can do at home to help prevent cavities:
- Maintain a healthy, nutritious diet, and limit the amount of sugar your child eats
- Reduce snacking
- Make sure your child stays hydrated, as water helps clean the teeth
- Encourage your child to use a regular cup instead of a sippy cup after they are about 12 months of age
- Avoid sticky foods
- Rinse your child’s pacifier in running water
- Do not let your child keep a bottle with them at night. Give them one last drink before bed, and then brush their teeth. If they insist on having a bottle with them, fill it only with water.
- Do not sweeten your child’s pacifier with honey or other sweeteners
- Ask our dentists to check your child’s fluoride levels
- Brush and floss your child’s teeth for them until age 7
- If your child chews gum, give them Xylitol gum. Xylitol works to help prevent tooth decay.
If you have questions about cavity prevention, please feel free to contact our office. Our caring dentists and team are happy to answer your questions.