Getting your kids to look after their teeth can be difficult. Every child has thrown a temper tantrum about having to brush their teeth before bed. Cavities are one of the most common problems that young children deal with. Looking after kids’ teeth is the best way to set them up for good oral hygiene as they get old. A cavity results in permanent damage to your kid’s teeth and is something that you want to avoid.
We’re taking an in-depth look at what cavities are, the warning signs, and how to prevent cavities in kids’ teeth.
What are cavities?
Cavities are caused by a build-up of dental plaque which damages the tooth enamel, leading to a hole forming. Plaque covers your teeth, leading to bacteria that blend with the acid, food, and saliva in your mouth. The best way to prevent plaque build-up is by regular brushing and flossing your kids’ teeth.
The warning signs for cavities
A tell-tale sign of cavities in kids is a toothache. However, not every cavity will cause pain. Other warning signs to look out for include sensitivity when drinking and eating cold food. Dark and white spots on the tooth can be another sign of cavities.
Depending on their age, your child might not be able to tell you that they’re suffering from toothaches. Symptoms like mouth swelling, fussiness, and being lethargic can indicate dental issues, including cavities.
If your kids are suffering from cavities, they’ll usually be treated with fillings. Look out for the warning signs from an early stage. If there is a cavity in a baby tooth, it needs to be filled to ensure the tooth can properly come through. Kids as young as 1 or 2 years of age can be treated for cavities.
How to prevent cavities in kids’ teeth
Your kids should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. Most kids need help brushing their teeth until 6 years of age. You also want to be supervising them to make sure they’re doing it properly. If you can teach your children good oral hygiene at an early age, they’ll be able to carry this through for the rest of their lives.
Flossing is another way of preventing cavities, but it’s one aspect that kids struggle with. You’ll have to help your kids become familiar with flossing and learn how to do it themselves.
You want to make sure your kids have regular dental check-ups from 6 months old when their teeth first start to erupt. Just like adults, kids should go for a check-up every 6 months.
Your kids’ diet can also play a role in causing cavities. If your kid is eating too many sweets or sugary foods, it puts them at higher risk of tooth decay.
Keeping your kids’ teeth cavity-free is the best way to ensure their oral health throughout their childhood and into adulthood. Regular brushing, flossing, and six-month check-ups will help prevent cavities from forming.