June 18, 2024

Vita Nectar

Health is the main investment in life

Kids and cavities: Yes, even baby teeth should be brushed every day!

3 min read

Langley dentist explains where cavities come from and how to help your child maintain healthy teeth

How do cavities occur?

When food, acid and saliva combine with bacteria in the mouth it creates plaque, a sticky substance that covers teeth. Plaque eats at tooth enamel and causes a hole in the tooth, also known as a cavity. Once tooth decay progresses and a cavity forms, it cannot heal itself. That’s why it’s important to brush all your teeth twice a day, to keep plaque away!

“Parents sometimes ask why they should worry about their child’s oral care, since baby teeth are going to be replaced. But there are many reasons to prioritize regular dental hygiene,” says Dr. Fatemeh Basij, DDS, former UBC instructor and the owner of Allard Dental Centre. “Establishing healthy habits early will help your child when it’s time to care for adult teeth. Also, untreated cavities can also cause pain and infections — in addition to being uncomfortable, dental issues can lead to problems with eating, speaking and learning at school.”

What increases the risk for cavities?

  • Family history: Some people may be genetically predisposed to getting cavities. If other family members have had cavities, your child may be at a greater risk.
  • Sugary foods: If your child consumes a lot of sugary foods and drinks, particularly between meals, they have an increased risk of developing cavities.
  • Special healthcare needs: It can be even more challenging to develop good dental hygiene routines for children with special needs. People with special healthcare needs including Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are also at an increased risk for cavities.
  • Braces and other oral appliances: If your child wears braces, orthodontics or other oral appliances, it’s easier for food to get stuck in their teeth, which increases their risk of cavities.

“If your child is at an increased risk of cavities, talk to your doctor or dentist. In addition to regular oral hygiene, there are extra steps you can take to help protect your child’s teeth,” Dr. Basij says.

Cavities are common, but they are preventable!

“Fluoride is an excellent tool in fighting cavities and tooth decay, so children over two should brush daily with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste,” Dr. Basij says. “Demonstrate your own brushing regularly and watch how your child brushes their teeth to ensure they’re doing an effective job.”

If your child is at an increased risk of cavities, Allard Dental offers fluoride varnish and dental sealants which can offer extra protection.

Regular dental checkups, at least every six months, are also an essential part of good hygiene — it’s a chance to do a deeper clean, and ensure that your daily routine is working effectively.

Book appointments for the whole family this summer at allarddentalcentre.ca or call 604-882-0568. Their office is conveniently located at 301-21183 88 Ave., Langley with abundant free parking, and simultaneous appointments to accommodate families. Find them on Facebook and Instagram for more dental tips.

Oral hygiene starts on the day your baby is born — develop good habits, including daily cleaning and regular visits to the dentist.


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