3 Things Parents Should Know About Cavities In Kids

According to recent studies, children between the ages of 2 to 11 have an average of 1.6 decayed teeth. Adolescents between the ages of 12 to 19 suffer from tooth decay 59 percent of the time on their permanent teeth. Another name for tooth decay is a cavity. If you are a parent who is concerned about these numbers, the best thing to do is learn more about cavities so that you can prevent your child from getting them. 

Here are three things parents should know about cavities in kids.

1. Know What Causes Cavities

Bacteria in the mouth eventually turns into plaque, which creates a sticky film on the tooth. When kids don't brush their teeth on a regular basis, the plaque stays on the teeth and turns acidic. It's this acid that depletes the tooth's enamel of minerals. Tiny holes in the tooth are the first signs of a cavity.

If acid on the tooth is not removed, it will reach the inner tooth, which is where the tooth's blood vessels and nerves are located. Most kids get cavities from eating too many sweets or sipping sugary drinks, such as fruit juice, from a sippy cup.

2. Know What Happens When Cavities Go Untreated

When kids have untreated cavities, it could cause them to have the following symptoms:

  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity, especially when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Brown stains on the tooth

Any of these symptoms could indicate a cavity. Left untreated, the cavity will get bigger and more painful. Untreated cavities could also cause an infection that spreads to other parts of the mouth.

3. Know How Parents Can Help Prevent Cavities

One of the best things parents can do to help their kids prevent cavities is to serve as a good role model when it comes to oral health hygiene. Parents should also take an active role in teaching their kids how to brush their teeth. They should monitor their kids' oral hygiene habits to ensure their kids are brushing their teeth after meals.

Another way for parents to help their kids prevent cavities is to limit their sugar intake and offer substitutes that are good for the teeth. Some food kids can eat to improve their oral health include cheese, milk, fruits, vegetables, and water that is treated with fluoride.

Parents should also make sure they schedule regular dental checkups with a pediatric dentist. It's important for kids to see this kind of dentist as pediatric dentistry specializes in oral healthcare for kids.

To learn more, reach out to a clinic like New England Dental Specialists of Norwood.