Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems for kids. If left untreated, cavities can cause severe pain, sensitivity, and discomfort in the affected tooth and surrounding area. It’s important to understand that some cavities can only be detected by your dentist in their early stages.
What Causes Cavities?
Teeth naturally become covered with plaque, a soft film made mostly of bacteria, as soon as they begin to develop, usually around six months of age. When this plaque is exposed to sugar, it creates an acid which begins to eat away at the calcium of the tooth. Brushing the teeth helps to remove plaque and acidity so that calcium and saliva can restore the teeth. If acid remains on the teeth over time, it can gradually erode them, creating holes called cavities or caries.
How Can They Be Prevented?
Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash are great everyday ways to keep plaque and acid from building up in your mouth. Avoiding sugary snacks and sodas, and practicing good nutrition in general are also beneficial. Fluoride is present in most tap water and toothpaste, which helps to protect your teeth. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, and don’t hesitate to come in at any time if you are feeling pain in your teeth or gums. If your child is growing permanent teeth, ask their dentist about sealants.
How Can I Tell If I Have a Cavity?
You may be able to see or feel a hole in your tooth. You may also experience noticeable pain or discomfort. However, your dentist will likely be the first to know if you have a cavity. Practicing preventative measures is the surest way to keep your teeth healthy.
If you are looking for a family dentist in the Brooklyn, NY area, contact Best Kids Dentist at (718) 491-5300 to learn more about our dental and orthodontic services. For more information, visit our website today.