How to Prevent Cavities in Children

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Cavities, or tooth decay, can affect anyone, including children. Although they are quite common, they can be prevented. Below, we share a few oral hygiene tips to help you teach your children how to prevent cavities. Armed with this knowledge from an early age, they will maintain good dental habits that will help them enjoy a healthy smile throughout their lives.

What are cavities and why do they occur?

Cavities happen when the tooth enamel is stripped away. This wear and tear over time can lead to holes forming in the tooth surface. These holes are what we know as cavities. The main cause of tooth decay is bacteria that live in our mouths and digest residual carbohydrate-containing foods. When these sugars are processed, the bacteria produce acids that can eventually erode the tooth surface and cause cavities.

Can all children get cavities?

All children are at risk of getting cavities. However, the risk may be higher for some, depending on several factors, such as:

  • Having higher levels of the bacteria that cause cavities
  • Diets high in sugars and starches
  • Bad oral hygiene habits
  • Producing less saliva than usual

How can we prevent cavities?

Fortunately, there are measures we can take at an early age to minimize the likelihood of developing cavities.

  • Start brushing their teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth appears. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush their tongue and gums as well.
  • Start using dental floss as soon as all their molars come in.
  • Make sure your children maintain a balanced diet: wean them off the bottle after they turn one year old and limit their consumption of sugary foods and soda.
  • Starting from their first year, take them to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and evaluation.

At Salus Clinics, we have pediatric dentists ready to help protect the health of your children’s teeth. Make your appointment today by calling 787.789.1996.

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