Local Dental Blogs - Philadelphia, PA

Childhood Cavities: What Causes and How to Stop Them

Tooth decay is, unfortunately, a very common cause for poor oral health globally, affecting nearly 44% of the global population. 

It affects all ages, but today, we want to take a look at childhood cavities. Keep reading to learn more about what causes childhood cavities and how you can keep your child cavity-free.

What Causes Childhood Cavities?

Cavities are tiny holes in your teeth formed when your tooth experiences tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when bacteria consume carbohydrates (sugars and starches) left on your teeth after eating. 

These bacteria produce acid after consuming the carbs, which mixes with saliva, food, and other bacteria to form plaque.

Over time, the acid eats away at the tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

Children can be at particular risk of cavities. For one, they may not know how to properly take care of their teeth — or they may not like doing it. Additionally, they may enjoy sugary foods, which are bad for their teeth. Put together, and this creates a risk of your child developing cavities in their teeth.

How to Stop Childhood Cavities


1. Teach and Encourage Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

Start brushing your child’s teeth the minute the first one grows in. Make sure to get their gums and tongue as well. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be gentle.

As your child grows, make sure they’re brushing 2-3 times per day, and show them how to floss as well. 

You can also ask your dentist to teach your child proper flossing habits as well — they’re experts at it.

2. Feed Your Child a Nutritious Diet

A healthy diet helps your child to grow up healthy and strong, but it also keeps their teeth in great shape. Minimize the amount of sugary foods such as candy and ice cream they eat. Make sure they eat plenty of fruits and fibrous vegetables, as these can actually be beneficial for tooth enamel strength. Dairy also helps strengthen teeth, thanks to its calcium content.

3. Fluoride

If you live in an area with fluoridated water, then simply make sure your child gets a healthy water intake.

If you lack access to fluoridated water, talk to your child’s dentist about fluoride supplements. Dental sealant and fluoride varnish are other options for keeping your child’s enamel strong if you can’t access fluoridated water.

4. Bring Your Child to the Dentist Regularly

Make sure you bring your child to the dentist once every six months for their routine cleaning and exam. Your dentist will make sure their dental development is going smoothly and help catch any potential issues as early as possible.

Absolute Smile is happy to help you take care of your child’s oral health. We want to make sure your child grows up to have a strong, healthy, bright smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment — all new patients get a free consultation!

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