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Childhood Cavities

Posted on 2/7/2022 by Evan
Childhood CavitiesBy the age of 4, more than 25% of children have at least one cavity. Untreated childhood cavities can lead to several other problems, both immediately and later. There are several factors involved, such as pain and infection, difficulty eating, and irregular tooth development that can lead to misalignment, overbite, and speech issues. Your child's risk of developing a cavity can be drastically reduced by understanding the causes, practicing good oral hygiene at home, and scheduling regular visits to the dentist.

Cavity Causes

Between 2 and 6 years of age, a child should begin brushing as soon as he or she has their first tooth and begin flossing when they have two teeth touching. For a healthy night's sleep, these habits are especially beneficial before bedtime to remove the bacteria that accumulate during the day. Until your child is about 10 years old and can demonstrate the proper technique independently, you should supervise your child's brushing and flossing. You can clean your baby's gums by using only water with a soft-bristled infant toothbrush or finger brush. In case of a newly erupted tooth in children under the age of 2, the AAPD recommends a "smear" of toothpaste, roughly the size of a grain of rice. Between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, kids should take a pea-sized amount of this. Bacteria feeds on simple sugars and starches in sweet treats and other highly processed foods, helping to keep your child's smile healthy. Consider giving your children fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting junk food like cookies, candy, soda, and chips. Fill a bottle or sippy cup with water instead of sugary juice or formula before your child goes to sleep. It should come as no surprise that regular dentist visits are vital to your child's dental health. At least one visit should occur before the first tooth erupts but not later than the first birthday.

Cavity Symptoms

It's important to keep an eye on your child's teeth as a parent or caregiver in case any issues arise. Cavities can display different symptoms depending on your child, but there are some signs to look for, such as tooth pain when brushing or eating, bad breath that persists, white spots visible on the teeth, increased sensitivity, and holes and discoloration. If your child exhibits any of these signs, you should arrange to see us right away.
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