Cavities: Cause and Prevention

Cavities, otherwise known as Dental Caries, are the most common yet most preventable disease that children suffer from in the United States. Ask anyone on the street of how to get rid of them and you’ll hear of how you need to brush your teeth on a daily basis and how you should take a diet that doesn’t undermine your dental hygiene.

Even though all of the above is true cavities can also be caused by other circumstances.

Cavities Can Be Caused by The Bottle

You may not think that you’re compromising your baby’s dental hygiene when you offer them a bottle at night. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Giving your baby the bottle before tucking them in can lead to childhood carries.

So, what causes these carries? Well, milk formula has a very high sugar content and as you know when sugar isn’t cleaned out of the mouth it feeds cavity-causing bacteria.

If you feel that your infant needs to take something before bedtime, give them a bottle of warm water and not formula. This way you’ll be avoiding destroying your child’s teeth before they start coming in.

Sticky Foods Cause Cavities

Sticky foods are the reason why you should endeavor to clean your child’s teeth as well as your own. Sticky foods you should avoid when you know the toothbrush isn’t nearby include:

  • Granola bars
  • Bread
  • Gummy snacks
  • Chips etc

Long after you’re through eating your granola bar or bread, bits of these foods will still be stuck on your teeth. In the process they expose your teeth to sugar which is then consumed by bacteria which in turn produce acid.

The acid corrodes the tooth enamel which is then likely to decay and cause cavities.

If you can’t control your child’s cravings, the alternative is to have them wash out their mouth as soon as they finish eating their sticky foods. An even better alternative is to have them brush their teeth once they’re through eating.

Dry Mouth Can Lead To Cavities

Dry Mouth also known as Xerostomia is a condition where glands that produce saliva (parotid glands) are not working properly. This can be dangerous for anyone’s dental hygiene. You see, saliva plays a key role in preventing cavities. This is because saliva combats acid produced by bacteria.

There are various reasons why anyone could suffer from dry mouth including:

  • Medication side effects
  • Dehydration
  • Lifestyle
  • Medical treatment side effects
  • Nerve damage
  • Side effect of certain infections and diseases

One way of preventing your child from suffering from Dry Mouth is by having them take plenty of water. If they’re already suffering from Xerostomia, you should take them to a Wake Forest dentist from where the condition can be treated.

Here are some things you could do in the meantime to help improve the flow of saliva:

  • Get your child to suck on sugar-free candy
  • Brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste
  • Purchase an artificial saliva substitute over the counter
  • Advise them to regularly breathe through their nose and not their mouths