Tooth decay is very common in kids, and can result in a painful toothache or even a dental abscess. The most common causes of tooth decay are poor oral hygiene, closely followed by unwise food choices. The location of a tooth in the mouth can also make a difference to the risk of it becoming decayed, as can other factors such as exposure to stomach acid.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Tooth Decay
Regular brushing and flossing is essential for removing plaque and food from teeth. It is extremely important that these tasks are carried out thoroughly and at least twice daily. We know it can be a struggle to clean children’s teeth for them or to encourage them to do it properly themselves. If this is the case then please ask Dr. Mila Cohen, or any of the pediatric dentists at the Kid’s Dentistry Center for help and advice. We can provide practical demonstrations for you or your child on how to brush and floss properly.
How Does a Poor Diet Cause Tooth Decay?
If your kid eats a lot of sticky and sweet foods, or very acidic foods or anything that is likely to stick to their teeth, then their risk of tooth decay is increased. While it might be impossible to cut out these foods altogether you can try to restrict their consumption to special occasions or as part of a main meal. If your kid does have something that is less than great for their dental health, encourage them to brush their teeth around half an hour to an hour afterwards. This gives the mouth a chance to become less acidic, reducing the damage to their teeth before brushing. The Kid’s Dentistry Center is always able to offer customized advice on the best diet for dental health.
How Can the Location of a Tooth Make a Difference?
Teeth right at the back of the mouth are harder to clean, so make sure your child has a toothbrush that is small enough to reach right to the back of their mouth. They also need to floss in between every single tooth, even those teeth right at the back of the mouth. It can make a difference if your kid has overcrowded or crooked teeth that make it difficult to floss and brush thoroughly. If this is the case the ask Dr. Mila Cohen about orthodontics at your next visit to the Kid’s Dentistry Center as braces can do far more than just give your child a more appealing smile.
Stomach Acid and its Effect on the Teeth
Kids often get sick, but when this happens their teeth are exposed to strong acids from the stomach. These acids can soften and weaken tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities. If your child is sick, get them to rinse out their mouth with plenty of fresh water, but it can pay to wait a bit before brushing. This gives the tooth enamel a chance to re-harden after being exposed to the stomach acids, reducing the overall damage to the teeth.
Regular checkups can help to minimize your kid’s chances of developing tooth decay, as we can keep an eye on their dental health, and if necessary will provide fluoride treatment to help harden their teeth, as well as general advice on keeping their teeth healthy in between appointments.