What Are Cavities?
Ah, cavities. Did you know that cavities are more common for kids than any other illness (this includes both diabetes and asthma!). Cavities are also known as “dental caries” and can lead to much more serious oral consequences such as tooth decay. While they are VERY common for both children and adults, preventing them is easy.
Many factors contribute directly to cavities in children, such as:
- Diet (food and beverages)
- Poor oral health
- Lack of fluoride
More than ever before, children are not drinking tap water, or water that has fluoride in it. The rising popularity of bottled water does not have fluoride in it, which helps fight cavities. Children also are at risk for cavities when they consume sugary foods and drinks – even juice, while healthier than soda, has sugar in it.
Bacteria (mutans streptococcus) feed on the sugar in your children’s teeth, and then subsequently make damaging acids that tear away at the enamel of the teeth. These same bacteria also make plaque. Plaque will stay on the teeth and have tons of harmful acid that destroy the enamel even more. Once the targeted, or damaged, area of the tooth collapses, that section becomes a cavity on the tooth.
Treatments for cavities
- Fluoride treatment
- Root canal or removal of tooth (severe cases)
“Bad teeth” or “soft teeth” are not passed along genetically, but what IS passed along are the higher levels of tooth decay-causing bacterias. As a parent, you will know if you suffered from many cavities and tooth decay, so taking control for your child is a major responsibility.
Take control and prevent cavities!
At Bethesda Dental Specialties, we encourage parents and children to take control of their dental health! Our “No Cavity Club” rewards kiddos with healthy teeth with fun prizes (and a picture on our website too, if you want!). It is very easy to join this club and to be entered for a monthly prize:
- Come in for a routine visit
- A clinician/hygienist will tell the doctor that your child’s teeth is cavity free
- The clinician will verify that your child has been brushing and flossing
- Your child gets one entry for the month for a prize!