A CHILD CAN GO THEIR WHOLE LIFE without having a cavity, and seemingly out of nowhere find themselves at the dentist for a filling or two. How does this happen?
Here are some reasons your child’s dental status might be in sudden flux:
Changes In Your Child’s Daily Routine
The stress of changes in a daily routine, like starting school, or starting a new habit, can adversely affect your child’s health—oral health included. It may even be the reason for the sudden appearance of a cavity.
Stress affects us all differently, but a common side effect is experiencing a dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, there is an absence of saliva, which helps neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay and cavities. If your child is experiencing some of these changes or getting more physical activity than usual, make sure they’re getting enough water to drink throughout the day to prevent a dry mouth.
A New Diet
Another reason for unforeseen cavities may be a change in diet. Are they consuming more acidic foods or drinks? Some common culprits are citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and sports drinks. What about more frequent consumption of sugar or soda? The amount of sugar we eat matters less to dental health as the time of exposure does. Sipping on soda all day can be worse than eating a large chocolate bar all at once.
If a child has a sore throat or the flu, sucking on cough drops all day long can easily cause cavities. In more serious cases, chemotherapy is also a common offender and in many cases results in dry mouth, making one more prone to cavities.
Changes In Dental Habits
Is your child brushing and flossing his or her teeth regularly and with the proper technique? This one goes without saying. Make sure their home hygiene routine is up to par.
Avoid overbrushing as it can damage teeth and may result in cavities. If a child brushes more vigorously than necessary, they risk cutting away the protective enamel of the tooth, making it more vulnerable to decay.
Gum recession is also a result of overly aggressive brushing. Receding gums expose the root of the tooth that is usually below the gumline. The root does not have the enamel covering like the rest of your tooth, which protects it from cavities.
Additionally, if they’ve recently gotten braces, they may have noticed that it’s harder to floss and brush than it used to be. Talk to us about how your child can improve their technique so that braces don’t interfere with their dental hygiene.
We’re Here To Help
Getting to the root of the problem is the most important thing when it comes to your child’s dental health. We’re here to work with you and your family in treating and preventing tooth decay, so that they can have a healthy life and a cavity-free smile!