Cavity Risk Factors and How to Stay Cavity-Free at Holiday Time
If you have teeth then you are at risk of tooth decay, but certain factors can increase your chances of developing a cavity.
Eating Certain Foods
Some foods are particularly good at sticking to your teeth for long periods of time. These include hard and sticky sweets, dried fruit, biscuits and granola bars, cake, cereals and crisps. The problem with foods that stick to teeth is that they provide a ready source of energy for cavity causing bacteria.
Frequent Snacking or Sipping Fizzy Drinks
Continually eating or drinking foods that are high in acid or sugars increases the risk of cavities by raising the acidity levels in your mouth. Acid attacks tooth enamel, softening it and making it more likely that you will develop tooth decay.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Every day plaque builds up over your teeth, forming a sticky biofilm that must be removed through brushing and flossing. If you don’t clean your teeth regularly, then plaque will harden into calculus, a hard substance that produces acids and toxins that will erode your tooth enamel.
Brushing Too Soon After Eating
It might seem odd, but brushing too soon after you have eaten can increase your risk of cavities by brushing away your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is softer immediately after eating due to higher acidity in the mouth. Waiting at least half an hour before brushing allows pH levels to normalise, enabling tooth enamel to re-harden.
How to Stay Cavity-Free at Holiday Time
The school holidays are an excellent opportunity to spend some well-earned time with your kids, but it can be a time when sensible eating and oral care routines go out of the window. We’ve listed a few simple tips to help your child stay cavity-free during the holidays.
- Serve Sweet Treats with a Main Meal: Instead of providing sugary treats in between meals, try to serve them only occasionally as part of a main meal which will minimise the damage to your child’s teeth.
- Steer Clear of Fizzy Drinks and Fruit Juices: Fizzy drinks and fruit juices are awful for teeth because they tend to be sugar-laden. Even sugar-free fizzy drinks contain acid, which can attack and soften your childs tooth enamel. Plain water is far more effective for rehydration.
- Brushing after Eating Something Sugary: After your child has eaten something sugary, wait half an hour and then encourage them to brush their teeth and make sure they brush for at least two minutes. Waiting reduces acidity in the mouth and gives tooth enamel time to re-harden.
- Catch up with Dental Appointments: The holidays are the ideal opportunity to catch up with dental appointments and to complete any outstanding treatments so that when your child returns to school, they’ll have a clean and healthy mouth.
We’re passionate about providing excellent preventive dentistry for your child, to create the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health. With regular visits to the Apple Dental team, you can be sure any dental problems are diagnosed in their very early stages, and any treatment can be carried out before problems become much more serious.