As a parent, you probably make sure your young child brushes their teeth every day, so you might think that this will prevent cavities, and it often does. However, cavities can still develop in a child's mouth. In fact, approximately 42% of young kids, between the ages of 2 to 11, have experienced at least one cavity. If this happens to your child, you should know that it's not unusual, and here are a few other things you should know.
The Reasons Kids Get Cavities
Cavities are a result of plaque buildup on teeth, and that is why it's so important to remove plaque from teeth each day. Kids generally get cavities for the same reasons as adults, and you can boil this down to two main reasons:
- Not cleaning teeth often enough or in ways that are effective
- Eating the wrong things
When kids eat a lot of junk food and do not brush their teeth thoroughly twice a day, they are much more likely to develop cavities than kids who eat only healthy foods.
Children can develop cavities in their primary teeth or permanent teeth, and it's important to treat both of these. A cavity is a cavity, no matter if it's in a baby tooth or a permanent one.
How Dentists Treat Them
Dentists treat cavities in kids the same as they would adults; however, there are often more challenges with treating childrens' cavities. For one, kids are often afraid to have work done and may be fearful to even go to the dentist. Kids can also have trouble sitting still long enough to allow the dentist to do the work. Because of this, pediatric dentists often use sedation, such as nitrous oxide, to help children relax long enough to make it through a procedure like this.
Ways to Help Prevent Further Cavities from Forming
After your child gets a cavity, you might want to start helping them brush each day, and you might also want to start limiting the junk food your child receives. Doing both of these things may help your child avoid cavities in the future.
If you want to help your child avoid cavities, you might be able to help by encouraging your child to eat healthier and by encouraging effective brushing habits. You can talk to a pediatric dentist if you have questions about cavities with your child's teeth.
Learn more about kids dentistry today.