The Biggest Risk Factors for Cavities
Cavities don’t have to be a fact of life for your kids. Many people assume that you get cavities because of a genetic predisposition. Every Cumming pediatric dentist hears, “Well, my folks had cavities, so I do, too, and that means my kids also will.” This isn’t necessarily the case. Just like there are things you can do that will help to avoid cavities, there are things that will increase the chances of your kids getting cavities. Here’s a look at some of the biggest risk factors for cavities.
Feeding Them Sugary Foods
Sugar is the worst for your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities live on carbohydrates that can be fermented, and that’s exactly what sugar is. The more sugar your kids eat, the more bacteria will form in their mouth, and the more likely they will be to develop cavities.
Feeding them Acidic Foods
Next to sugar, acids are the next worst thing for your teeth. Your teeth have an enamel on them, which keeps them hard and protects them from breaking and decay. Acids eat away at this enamel and cause the teeth to get soft and break down. This will increase the chances of getting cavities. Beverages like soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, vegetable juice and other flavored drinks (even fitness water) have lots of acid in them. To avoid cavities, make sure your kids have a well-balanced diet.
Bad Dental Hygiene
If your child has poor brushing and flossing habits, they are at increased risk for cavities. Even if your kids brush their teeth regularly, failure to develop proper habits can lead to tooth decay. Brushing longer (at least 2 minutes at a stretch) ensures that your child’s teeth are properly cleaned and that they are getting the right amount of fluoride and helps avoid cavities. Fluoride is a material that greatly strengthens tooth enamel.
Flossing, too, is vital to tooth health. By brushing and flossing regularly and properly, your kids are removing the plaque and tartar buildup that can eat away at their teeth, and are keeping them free of those nasty sugars and acids. Failure to have good dental hygiene is the biggest thing they can do to increase their risk factors for cavities.
Unfortunately, cavities tend to be a self-perpetuating problem. The more cavities you have, the more likely you are to develop more cavities down the road. Even if your child has cavities, however, all hope is not lost.
The cavities themselves are not the real problem. They are an indicator that there are problems which need to be addressed. These problems could be genetic or they could be diet- or hygiene-oriented. Regardless, your Cumming pediatric dentist can help you make the adjustments needed to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong.
Does your child have high risk factors for cavities? If you live in the Cumming, GA area and are looking for a great pediatric dentist to get your child back on the road to dental health, we are here to help. Read a bit about cavity prevention and feel free to give us a call for an appointment today!