How to Avoid Cavities in Your and Your Child’s Mouth?
A recount by Dr Mark Casiglia
Your teeth are protected by a strong layer of enamel, however if that layer is damaged in any way (through trauma or acid erosion), bacteria can penetrate beyond the enamel and into the dentine that lies underneath. Dentine is much softer than enamel and is easily eroded, which can lead to a hole developing in your tooth (cavity).
If you have a diet that is high in acidic and sugary foods you are at much greater risk of developing a cavity as the bacteria feeds off these elements and produces acids that soften and eventually penetrate the enamel.
To reduce your risk of developing cavities you should brush and floss regularly to remove bacteria and try to avoid eating sugary or highly acidic foods. Make sure you have regular check-ups at Apple Dental so we can treat any tiny lesions before they become larger cavities.
How to Avoid Cavities in Your Child’s Mouth?
We often get asked this question by concerned parents and caregivers, particularly after a child has been diagnosed with tooth decay. While some children are more susceptible towards developing cavities, it is often possible to take a few simple steps to reduce their risk. Our top tips include:
- Making sure they brush and floss thoroughly. Most cavities are caused by poor oral hygiene and it is important that you brush your child’s teeth for them until they are able to do so themselves and that older children are supervised to ensure they are brushing correctly.
- Applying fissure sealants. We will almost certainly suggest applying fissure sealants to your child’s newly erupted adult back teeth as this is an easy way to protect these hard-to-clean areas from tooth decay. Fissure sealants can only be applied to healthy teeth that haven’t been filled, so it is important to get them done as soon as possible.
- Avoiding the wrong types of snacks in between meals. Giving your child biscuits and crisps or fizzy drinks in between meals will increase their risk of cavities. If they would like something to eat in between main meals then provide plenty of fresh crunchy fruits and vegetables, or calcium-rich cheese. Avoid fizzy drinks altogether as even diet versions will still damage teeth due to high acidity levels. Try to steer your child towards drinking plain water as fruit juices can often be high in sugars.
These tips are all pretty straightforward, but when combined with good professional dental care should help make a difference. Our dentists can also assess your child’s level of risk for developing tooth decay, and will provide customised advice and preventative dental care to reduce this risk.