Dental health is a necessary feature for everyone, but it is especially important to children and infants. The fact is, people rarely take the time to think about their children’s teeth and how every day decisions like what they eat affects them. Yet we all know how compromised teeth can cause havoc in your day to day life as well as how debilitating a toothache can be. Now, imagine how a child of 5 years or so would be impacted by such, and you will see how important it is to take good care of your children’s teeth.Like most other health issues in life, lifestyle choices play a major role in dental health. In children, this is especially true where diet is concerned. Some of the foods we allow our children to consume can and usually lead to tooth problems like discoloration, sensitivity, decay and even cavities. Here we will look at ;
- What teeth cavities are
- What causes tooth cavities in children
- 5 foods that cause tooth cavities in children
- How to detect tooth cavities in children
- The solution
Teeth cavities in children
You may be wondering: Why do children experience tooth problems so often? Children are especially susceptible to cavities because their teeth are still developing. According to this article published in the Khaleej Times, “Sugar rich diets have been known to be the leading cause of teeth cavities and tooth decay in children of all ages- and this has also been the case in the UAE.”
We will take a further look at the factors that cause cavities in children.
What Causes Cavities In Children
Several factors play a role in the likelihood of a child to develop cavities. We’ll take a look at each in turn and discuss possible remedies.
- Poor oral hygiene – This is the biggest contributor to teeth problems in young children, especially cavities. They are exposed to a lot of sugary foods and it may not always be possible to monitor what they eat. When sugary or starchy food is consumed, micro bacteria in the mouth start to convert these foods into acids. According to WebMD, the build-up of the bacteria and acids form plaque. This will, over time, wear down the hard protective covering of the teeth(enamel) to form the holes called cavities. Infrequent brushing gives more time for the plaque to form and thus causes the cavities to form more quickly.
- Excessive intake of sugary foods – Even with regular brushing, frequent intake of sugary foods accelerates the decay process. The sugars are more easily converted to acids that wear away the enamel. Experts recommend that children should brush twice a day; morning and evening. In between the brushings, the food consumed will play a big role in the rate of decay. If it has a lot of sugar then tooth decay will result regardless.
- Low fluoride intake – Fluorides play a big role in tooth development. Many municipalities require that recommended levels be made available in the water supply. However, this is not always reliable and not many parents are wise enough not to trust the health of their children with tap water. This means that the fluoride requirement must be met in other ways. This is where fluoride toothpaste comes in. Most children’s toothpaste brand variations will be sufficient for this.
5 Foods That Cause Cavities In Children
You will be surprised to learn that some of the major culprits that lead to tooth decay in children are commonplace, everyday foods. Some may not even seem likely causes. Therefore, we will look at these foods in turn and show you how they can cause cavities.
In infants, bottled milk plays a big role. Many parents put their little children to bed with a bottle, which is a big mistake as the sugars in the milk are broken down while the child sleeps to cause problems later.
2. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and tangerines, can also lead to tooth decay. This is because these fruits contain low amounts of natural citric acid. Eating a lot of citrus fruits causes the weak enamel of children’s teeth to get worn away much more quickly and thus increases the chances of developing cavities.
3. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits such as dates, grapes, walnuts, among others. These are dangerous to young children because they are sticky and the sugar on them tends to stick to the teeth long after the food has been consumed. This accelerates the rate of decay
Ice is also one to watch out for in small children, especially since they like to roll it about and bite on it. Being hard, in causes chipping of the enamel and exposes the softer dentine which is more readily attacked by decay processes. This means that you should also watch out for hard candy and nuts, for the same reason.
5. Sodas and Sports Drinks
Sodas and sports drinks have unfortunately become a major part of children’s diet, especially during parties and festivals. Carbonated drinks usually contain weak carbonic acid. Add that to the excessive sugar amounts present, and you can begin to understand what they do to your child’s teeth. Even the sugar free variants tend to contain some other form of sweetener, and their consumption by children should be kept at a minimum or avoided altogether.
How To Detect Cavities In Children
Cavities in children are relatively easy to spot. Early signs of breakdown include white spots on the enamel and a dark line at the gum line caused by plaque buildup. Some children will also experience sensitivity and some pain depending on the level of the problem.
When these signs start to emerge, it is best to contact the best dentists to forestall major problems and solve already existing ones. It is advised to take your children for regular checkups to make sure that their teeth are in the best of conditions always, instead of waiting for a crisis to occur.
Save Your Child’s teeth; Contact Professional Dentists
In the case of plaque and cavities, teeth whitening in Dubai services are available at affordable prices. You should take your children to a trusted dentist to have checkups regularly. This also serves to familiarize your children with dentists from an early age and remove fears normally associated with such visits.
It takes a lot to keep children’s teeth healthy. This simple guide seeks to show you what you need to do to maintain your children’s teeth in good health. However this does not always keep problems at bay. Get in touch with the best dentists in Dubai today to put you on the path of worry-free dental health for your children.