How to Prevent Your
Cavities: the modern horror
for young kids. The truth is that with the proper
knowledge and care, today's kids can remain virtually
Parents often worry about how to keep their
children from getting cavities. With today's
understanding of cavity formation you can save your
children from the stress of cavity related dental
What Causes Your Cavities?
In the war against cavities, bacteria is public
enemy #1. Millions of these bacteria live, work and play
in our mouths. Here they feed on left over food
particles, creating acid in the process. It is this acid
by-product which eats into tooth enamel and causes
Good oral hygiene is essential to cavity
prevention as it removes bacteria and the left over food
particles they feast on. For infants, a wet gauze or
clean washcloth will wipe away the plaque that contains
bacteria from teeth and gums.
Try to get your young ones to brush their own
teeth. Because children under the age of seven do not
have the manual dexterity to effectively brush their
teeth it is important that you brush their teeth after
they have done so.
Make sure that your kids get an adequate amount
of fluoride. Fluoride is the single most influential
factor in the decrease in cavities among today's
children. Fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel,
making it more resistant to acid attack.
Most children get adequate amounts of fluoride
because it is added to the municipal water supply.
However, if your city or town does not add fluoride to
its water supply, consult your physician about whether or
not to give your child fluoride supplements.
Parents should be careful that their children do
not get too much fluoride. As with other vitamins and
minerals essential for a healthy body, too much of a good
thing can be detrimental. Too much fluoride can cause a
condition known as fluorosis in which brown spots appear
on children's teeth.
The primary way children get too much fluoride
is by swallowing fluoride toothpaste. Remember, children
need only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Have them
spit toothpaste out instead of swallowing it.
Watch What Your Kids Eat
Many dentally conscious parents give their kids
healthy snacks or natural foods instead of candy and
other sugar laden treats. Surprisingly, many of these
healthy foods are just as bad for children's teeth as
candy, if not worse.
You see, bacteria utilize not only the sugar found in candy
and other sweets, but they also use the natural sugars found in
fruits and milk, as well as the carbohydrates found in foods
such as potato chips, pasta, and bread.
Parents should be especially careful of sticky and gooey
foods. These foods, such as peanut butter and raisins, tend to
stick to teeth providing a constant supply of sugar and
carbohydrates for bacteria.
What should parents do ? While parents should feed their
children as before, they should also remind them to thoroughly
wash all foods down after meals with a beverage, preferably
water. If possible, children should brush their teeth after
each meal. This will ensure that as little food as possible
stays in the mouth where bacteria can feed on it.
Are Dental Sealants For
You?Nearly 84% of all childhood cavities occur in
the back of the mouth because teeth here contain numerous
pits and grooves which are hard to reach with a
toothbrush. Bacteria settle here and use food particles
to create cavity causing acid.
sealants are transparent plastic coatings which can
be applied to these teeth preventing bacteria from
settling in the grooves and pits. Sealants are easily and
quickly applied in the dental office and provide long
lasting protection against cavity formation.
One day soon cavities may be a thing of the
past. Until then, proper and consistent use of fluoride,
good oral hygiene, and dental sealants can help children
remain cavity free.
sons with specific medical questions should