You work so hard to take good care of your preschooler’s teeth, only to find that he has a cavity. It doesn’t seem to make sense, even though you give him fewer candies and sugary treats.
If this sounds more or less familiar, then this article is for you.
Knowing our kids’ teeth better will help us take care of them in the best way. Tooth decay in kids, particularly in the age group of 3-5 years is common given the physiology of milk teeth and the way eating habits evolve. Read below to know more about cavities.
What Causes Cavities in Kids
There are many factors that cause cavities in children. Let’s discuss some of the significant ones.
1. Milk Teeth Are More Prone to Cavities
As milk teeth have thinner enamel and are soft, cavities can form and advance rapidly through them. This makes milk teeth more prone to cavities. Also, did you know cavities in milk teeth increase the risk of cavities in adult teeth too? Hence it becomes essential to take greater care of them and invest in good quality products. One such product is Colgate Kids 3-5 Years Toothpaste, which protects against cavities and has a 50% lesser abrasive formula to clean milk teeth gently. Accompanied with a Colgate Kids Toothbrush, with soft bristles and right head size which helps kids brush well.
2. Oral Bacterial Is Transmissible
Tooth decay in children is an infectious, transmissible bacterial disease. There are certain harmful bacteria inside our mouths which damage the teeth and finally cause cavities.
Cavity-causing bacteria can be transferred to children through saliva. Anyone can pass on the bacteria, including other children/ parents. The more often a child’s mouth comes into contact with saliva containing cavity-causing bacteria, the more likely it is that harmful bacteria will colonise the child’s mouth, leading to the formation of cavities. Hence, it’s best to avoid sharing spoons/utensils which can enable saliva contact.
3. Dietary Habits
Kids love candies and sugary snacks, while cavity-causing bacteria love sugar. So, it isn’t surprising that frequent consumption of sugary snacks and drinks increases the child’s risk of developing cavities. Also, sweets are not the only problematic foods. Any food items containing fermentable carbohydrates (that are broken down into sugars while still inside the mouth) can feed the cavity-causing bacteria. This means that along with sugary foods, processed, starchy foods like biscuits, chips, and white bread are bad for your child’s teeth.
4. The Frequency of Sugar Consumption
Gorging on sugary foods throughout the day is far worse for your child’s teeth than eating the same total quantity of sugary treats all at once, soon after a meal. And starchy and sugary foods that remain in your child’s mouth for a long time, like hard candies or toffee and raisins, are more harmful to your child’s teeth than foods that get cleared out of the mouth swiftly, like yogurt.
4. Brushing in an Incorrect Manner
As you know, poor dental hygiene habits in children increase the risk of developing cavities. Hence, it is very important to brush your child’s teeth twice a day. It is also important that you supervise the brushing and help your child brush in the right manner till you are confident that the child has learnt to brush well on their own.
How Can Cavities Be Prevented in Kids Between 3-5 Years of Age?
Here’s how cavities can be prevented:
- Start good dental habits early. Teach your child to brush his teeth at least twice daily with a kid-friendly toothpaste like the Colgate Kids Toothpaste & Toothbrush and to floss regularly.
- Limit or avoid certain foods like sugary snacks, candies, and juices. If your child does eat these foods, have him rinse his mouth or brush his teeth after eating to get rid of the sugar.
- Drinking enough water per day, throughout the day, is one of the easiest habits for preventing the formation of dental cavities in children. Water helps flush harmful bacteria from the mouth and stops acid from building up on the teeth.
- Take good care of your own dental health. If you have a history of dental problems, avoid sharing toothbrushes or utensils with your child. Of course, you should make it a point to brush and floss well, and get any oral problems treated at the earliest. This will also create a good example for your child and show him that protecting his teeth is essential.
- Ensure you and your child make routine visits to the dentist once a year for dental check-ups even if the teeth appear healthy.
Kids love to learn new things. It is essential for us to teach them the correct way of brushing their teeth and maintaining good dental hygiene. The habits they establish when they are young stay with them all through their lives!
If you wish to know more about the Colgate Kids Oral Care Range, view them here.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics for children. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.