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Happy Kids – Cavity-Free Kids!

We all want our kids to lead a happy and healthy life. One of the most important aspects of health we must take care of in order to help our kids achieve that life full of smiles is ideal dental care. Because oral health plays a major role in maintaining other vital functioning of the body. Negligence in dental care or hygiene can lead to future health complications that can be chronic and critical. And the first step to avoid such situations, one must know how to prevent our kids from getting the most common dental health issue, Cavities.

What are Dental Cavities?

Right from the birth, our mouth houses thousands of bacteria and they can be found in different areas including teeth, tongue, and gums. Even though some of these bacteria are helpful, other bacteria can lead to infection of gums resulting in Tooth Decay. This is a process where bacteria uses the sugar in the food we intake and turn them into acids. These acids eat away the outer layer of the teeth called “Enamel” and eventually make holes in the teeth which are nothing but Dental Cavities.

What Causes Cavities?

The bacteria which is the main factor behind the occurrence of cavities will get a lot of help from certain foods we take. These foods include candies, cookies, soda, soft drinks, ice-cream, sweet bread, cakes and many others that have high amounts of sugar in them. If these are taken in excessive amounts, there is every possibility that cavities can occur at a very young age.

But these cavities can be prevented at an early stage if we were able to identify and act immediately. During the initial stages, the acids produced by the bacteria when reacted with the sugar and starch in the foods mentioned above, it eats away the minerals present in the outer layer “Enamel” causing an appearance of white spots. This can be considered an early stage and if proper measures are not taken at this stage, it would eventually lead to cavities and ultimately dental filling would be the only solution remaining.

Measures to Prevent Cavities in Kids

  • Use of toothpaste that has optimum amounts of Fluoride. This is a mineral that has the capability to fight off the bacteria present and reverse the process of tooth decay and prevent the occurrence of Cavities. Consult the expert dentist to get a suggestion on what tooth paste is ideal for your kid.
  • It is important that your kid properly brushes twice and flosses once on a daily basis
  • Reduce the amount of sugary foods or drinks. Once in a blue moon would do no harm but it is essential that you help your kid follow a strict healthy diet.
  • Make your kid rinse and wash the mouth thoroughly before and after eating. Ensure that there are no food debris left between their teeth.
  • Make sure that your kid does not swallow the toothpaste. Until kids are of age 4-5, apply small amounts of toothpaste on the brush and supervise while they are brushing.
  • Do not put your baby to sleep with bottles containing liquids with high amounts of sugar or milk in their mouths. This can lead to a dental health problem called “bottle mouth” causing discoloration of teeth and gum infections.
  • Limit the amount of snacks in between meals.
  • Ensure that your kids eat nutritious snacks including fruits, vegetables, certain dry fruits, milk, yogurt, oats, and cheese. Avoid junk to the maximum possible extent. Save the junk food for special occasions.
  • Pregnant women must also take care in maintaining a good dental health. Ensure that your oral health is good with regular check-ups during pregnancy so that the baby will be born with ideal dental health.
  • The period between ages of 7 to 12 is very crucial and is called the Mixed Dentition period as the child will have both deciduous and permanent teeth in his/her mouth and special care is required during this period.
  • If the grooves in the grinding teeth are deep enough, get pit and fissue sealants done which will avoid food accumulation on the grinding surface of the teeth there by preventing tooth decay.