Your Child’s First Cavity

Not every parent is prepared to hear their dentist tell them that their child has a cavity. It
often comes as a surprise, especially if you have been watching them brush and floss
diligently every day. Cavities can be caused by a variety of factors, such as sugar-heavy
diets and even hereditary aspects, like having naturally soft teeth, so there’s no reason
to jump to blame any one thing. Instead, learning about how cavities form, what you can
do when they happen, and how you can prevent more from occurring is what is
important.

Let’s get you started on learning how to address your child’s first cavity, and how you
can help them avoid more from developing in the future.

How Does a Cavity Form

Millions of children suffer from tooth decay and cavities every year as a result of high
sugar diets, reduced fluoride and calcium, and also from transferrable oral germs. The
bacteria in your child’s mouth feeds off of sugar, which then produces acids that eat
away at the tooth enamel, causing decay. Over time, the bacteria also initiate the
production of plaque, which hardens and builds upon the teeth causing more damage to
the enamel. This process depletes the calcium of the tooth, which results in a hole
known as a cavity.

What to Do

If your child has been complaining about a toothache or pain when eating or drinking,
you should take a good look in their mouth. Check for any holes or brown and black
staining, as these are often a tell-tale sign of a cavity. If a suspected cavity is found,
immediately book an appointment with your dentist to have it checked out and repaired.
If they are left untreated, the pain will increase, and it can result in an infection or
potential damage to the jawbone and gums.

It’s also important that you listen to your dentist and their recommendations after your
child’s first cavity regarding sealants, fluoride treatments, and other oral care methods
for improving the oral health of your child.

How to Prevent More from Occurring

The first step in preventing more cavities from developing in the future is to ensure your
child is thoroughly brushing and flossing every day. They should also be attending
regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

Limiting or eliminating the consumption of sugary drinks and food, as well as starch-
based carbohydrates that accelerate the growth of bacteria, is also very important for
the health of their teeth and mouth. Additionally, you should ensure that your kids are
brushing with fluoride-based toothpaste - especially if you drink bottled water often or
have fluoride-free city water. Fluoride fights against cavity-causing bacteria.

When you experience your child’s first cavity, it can make you feel guilty. The reality is
that your child has an elevated risk of developing tooth decay today than even a decade
ago because of all the sugar and acidic items that are regularly consumed by today’s
children. The more proactive you are in staying on top of their oral health, the more
likely your child will grow up with healthy gums and teeth. Want more assistance?
Contact us and have your child come in to have their mental health evaluated.

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