Eating loads of candies, junk food, juices and soft drinks will inevitably lead to cavities in kids and adults.

Why?

Because they have tons of sugars and acids that can gradually erode the tooth enamel.

This enamel erosion gives way to harmful bacteria in the mouth to destroy the tooth structure.

Hence, resulting in tooth decay and a city when the decay worsens to form holes.

A cavity is also known as caries and it is the most common dental problem in kids.

Do you see black holes and spots on your child’s teeth too? Well, that may be a cavity.

Don’t worry, you can treat it by detecting it at the right time.

This article discusses how you can prevent tooth decay in your children and what can you do to treat them.

caries signs

Signs of Cavities in Kids

It is hard to figure out when your child’s tooth is decaying.

That’s because they don’t hurt even if there is tooth decay.

However, you can see a cavity developing inside your child’s teeth.

The visible signs of cavities in a toddler include:

  • having white or dark spots on their tooth
  • swelling of mouth

However, there are other signs too.

For instance, your child will become fussy and will cry a lot.

They will start avoiding food as they may be unable to eat.

The difficulty in eating stems from being sensitive to hot or cold stimuli.

As a result, they will start avoiding food and that will make them lethargic.

Your child will not be able to tell if there is any pain because it may not be present.

Therefore, you will have to look into their teeth to see spots.

Do not confuse white spotting with dental fluorosis.

Teeth that have dental fluorosis usually are the strongest and will not get a tooth cavity.

Hence, if you notice any of these signs in your child, take them to a pediatric dentist Dubai.

These can get worse after a cold and flu due to bacteria accumulation.

If it is not too late, they will fill the cavity and use dental sealants.

However, sometimes things can get worse if it has already been too late.

It can result in tooth extraction and filling that space with a crown or space maintainer.

More on that later.

First, let’s find out why does your child gets a cavity in the first place.

causes of cavities in kids, bacteria inside mouth

What Causes Them In Children- Dental Hygiene

There is bacterial flora inside your mouth and also bacteria that can cause decay.

These bacteria accumulate food, saliva and acids to form plaque on teeth.

Hence, plaque is a biofilm of bacteria that accumulates on teeth, slowly eroding them.

While you can remove plaque by brushing your teeth and flossing, some will always remain on your teeth.

However, this two help to prevent this buildup.

When plaque builds up on the enamel, it erodes the tooth structure.

That gives access to the dentin which decays the tooth.

Brushing and flossing do help to keep plaque minimal even if they cannot entirely eliminate it.

One of the biggest reasons for cavities in children is not brushing properly or skipping them.

Children are unable to hold the toothbrush properly till they are 6 years old.

However, they should start brushing as soon as their first baby tooth appears.

Since both baby teeth and permanent teeth can get a cavity.

Thus, if your child cannot hold their toothbrush properly then you should be holding it for them.

Also, they may be skipping brushing twice a day.

Children usually get lazy around evenings due to which they may skip nighttime brushing.

However, it is equally essential to brush during this time as their teeth collect bacteria and food particles from the entire day.

tooth decay and caries

The same goes for flossing.

Children usually find it hard to floss using a threader.

Hence, they may do so incorrectly or skip flossing once a day.

Therefore, plaque remains in spaces where the brush cannot reach which is usually between their teeth.

Moreover, your child should visit a dentist on their first birthday.

Their first tooth erupts usually when they are 6 months old.

Plan their dental visit around 6 months after that.

Dental checkups will keep cavities away.

diet causing caries

Diet Causing Cavities in Kids

If your child eats lots of sugars, acidic beverages and juices then they are likely to get a cavity at some point.

Children are obviously fond of sugary treats.

These include sticky and chewy candies, chocolates, acidic carbonated drinks and fruit juices full of sugar.

Though acidic foods and their daily sugar intake are not the only perpetrators.

Starchy food that contains carbohydrates such as crackers, chips and bread are also to blame.

Bacteria metabolize carbohydrates forming sugars and acids.

Since the bacteria hide inside the grooves of teeth as the food comes in contact with it, the acid lands directly on your enamel.

Thereby, eroding it.

Sodas and carbonated drinks contain lots of acids that are detrimental to the enamel.

Furthermore, fruit juices contain more sugars than the fruits they are made of.

Hence, if your child’s diet is full of junk food and fast food then you should keep checking their teeth and monitoring their oral health.

But it is best to first cut down their unhealthy food diet.

Give them healthy alternatives like fruits and vegetables.

They can munch on vegetables to make their teeth stronger.

We’ll discuss that later.

Though, some children have a genetic predisposition to cavities as well.

This is because their enamel is softer genetically.

Therefore, even if they brush their teeth diligently and floss too, they will still get cavities as their enamel can erode.

Once, you notice cavities in your child, it is time to take them to the dentist.

Your child may have dental anxiety but your doctor will know how to handle that.

doctor diagnosing caries

How to Treat Cavities in Baby Teeth?

Do not try any remedy for cavities on your kids.

Rather take them to a doctor as soon as you see signs of decay in their teeth.

Your dentist will proceed with tooth fillings if they notice a single or even several cavities.

First, your dentist removes the cavity and fills it with a composite material.

Or they may also use a metal material.

This helps to save the tooth and the dentist does not need to extract it.

Though your dentist cannot do the same if the tooth is already very damaged.

Your dentist will first prefer to cover the tooth with a pediatric dental crown.

Unlike crowns for adults, a pediatric crown is made of stainless steel, hence it is silver in color.

Though if the decay is on the front teeth then your dentist may recommend white acrylic stainless steel ones that are white in color.

However, your dentist will not be able to save a tooth that has an infection or has no room for fillings and a crown.

That is when they will have to extract it.

Parents should try their best that it doesn’t come to this.

Extracting a baby tooth can interrupt permanent teeth eruption.

Therefore, your child’s teeth can get crowded and misaligned.

Hence, your dentist may attach a space maintainer to a child’s teeth so that their permanent teeth grow properly.

Also when a child goes to the dentist then they are naturally nervous and can get anxious.

For that their dentist will sure numb the treatment area but may also use nitrous oxide which is known as the laughing gas to help ease your child.

Dentists can perform this procedure on children as young as 1 or 2 years old.

Though it is best to take steps to prevent cavities.

Cavities in kids prevention

Preventing Cavities in Kids

Prevention begins with maintaining good oral hygiene.

Hence, you need to teach your child that they should diligently brush twice a day and floss once.

It is better to floss before brushing as that does not expose the leftover plaque to the teeth again after brushing.

If they cannot floss, then you can either use a water flosser or an interdental brush.

These are easier for kids, especially when they lack the dexterity to hold and move the floss.

Furthermore, if they find it hard to brush then you can also give them an electric toothbrush and hold and brush their teeth till they can hold it themselves.

Also start giving them fluoride toothpaste but in a pea-sized amount after they are 3 years old.

This will help give their enamel extra protection.

Moreover, a fluoride supplement can be given for special purposes only when your child is quite at risk of developing decay.

Don’t forget that oral care begins when a child is an infant.

Wipe their toothless gums with a lukewarm piece of cloth.

Furthermore, start brushing as soon as their first tooth erupts.

Additionally, control their diet.

Give them healthy alternatives to candies and chips.

Rather let them eat bananas, nuts, yogurt, dried fruits, carrots, granola bars cheese sticks and fruits with less sugar content.

Rather than fruit juices or soda give water with fruit slices.

However, you do not need to completely cut down their sugars.

Instead, give them everything in moderation.

Do not exceed their daily sugar intake at all costs.

Finally, 

Cavities in kids are better prevented than treated.

Your child may get anxious in the dental clinic and that can interfere with their treatment.

Hence, keep a check on what your kids eat and drink and also if they maintain their oral hygiene properly.