Cavities are places where bacterial waste eats away at your child's teeth. Cavities need a couple things to come about - a tooth (duh), bacteria, and carbohydrates. These carbohydrates come in obvious forms, like sugar, but also in less obvious forms like bread, fruit, milk, and other drinks. When the carbs in these foods come in contact with the bacteria on your teeth, it forms an acid that has the ability to break down tooth enamel. The longer these items stay on the tooth, the more likely you are going to have a cavity on your hands.
How Can You Prevent Cavities?
Cavity prevention often comes down to what, when, and how your child eats. Here are some ideas to keep good dental hygiene and keep cavities at bay:
- Surprise, Surprise! Visit your dentist for regular check-ups – During dental cleanings and examinations your dentist will remove plaque buildup that can lead to cavities and check for areas of tooth decay.
- Drinks like juice are full of sugars that can cause tooth decay DON’T load up before bed time. While usually fine during the day, allowing your child to have these drinks in their bottle or sippy cup at night gives the cavity-causing sugars more time in contact with their teeth.
- Healthy daily diet – Juice isn’t the only thing that causes these issues. Any foods containing sugar or starches can encourage acid formation that leads to tooth decay. Have your kiddo choose healthy snacks and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Use a a good fluoride toothpaste – Fluoride is a mineral that helps fight against, or even reverse, tooth decay. Using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste can slow enamel breakdown.