Better Hygiene—Less Cavities

The last word any parent wants to hear at the dentist is “cavity.” Cavities are the result of tooth decay. Also known as dental caries, cavities are among the most common health problems in the world. Cavities can cause significant damage to your teeth and can cause painful toothaches, infection and even tooth loss. Fortunately, you can avoid cavities with just a few simple steps. Make sure your children brush at least twice each day; brush more often if they eat a lot of sweets or foods that stick to their teeth. Carry a portable or disposable toothbrush with you so that you can brush any food or sugar from their teeth when you are away from home. Switch to a toothbrush with triple-action bristles and diamond-shaped heads, which do a better job of removing food and sugar from hard-to-reach spaces around their teeth. Try a powered toothbrush to make brushing more comfortable, easy, and enjoyable. Avoid sugary snacks. Bacteria living in their mouth eat the sugar for energy, and this produces acid as a byproduct. The acid can dissolve the enamel of teeth to cause cavities. Stay away from foods that stick to teeth. NO GUMMIES!! Opt for a piece of pound cake instead of gummies, for example. Sticky foods coat teeth in acid-forming sugars that increase risk of cavities. Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages, including sports drinks, juice, and milk with additives (i.e. chocolate, strawberry). Also, be aware that many non-dairy milks like almond milk and soy milks can contain a large number of sugars. Rinse your child’s mouth frequently. Your child should drink water after meals to remove food particles from between teeth. And at night after brushing and flossing, water only!