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The Increase in Cavities in Children

Dr. Degel Apr 23, 2012

Queens Pediatric DentistryThough cavities have always been common in children, our Queens cosmetic dentist is seeing an increase in cavities in children today. The availability of soft drinks, candy bars, and other foods and drinks high in sugar has contributed to an increase in cavities in children. The age in which cavities are forming in children is becoming younger and younger. Sadly, the development of cavities among preschool children is becoming quite common. While parents want the best for their children, the act of teeth brushing is not always easy or enforced. Young children may not enjoy brushing their teeth, making it difficult to brush the teeth thoroughly or at all. It is not unusual for a child to cry or throw a fit during the teeth brushing process. Parents and caregivers may give up and let teeth brushing slide. Unfortunately, this just contributes to the formation of cavities in children. Parents may be unaware of how devastating this can be to the health of their children’s gums and teeth, or are unsure of how to enforce good oral habits.

Children as young as one year of age are developing cavities. We are seeing more and more children who have multiple cavities at once. It is becoming increasingly common to see the majority of the teeth in children affected by cavities. In the past, a child might have suffered from one to two cavities at a time, while now six to twelve cavities is not uncommon.

Causes of Cavities in Children

Bedtime drinking is one of the biggest contributing factors of cavities in children. Many children are allowed to drink fruit juices or milk at bedtime and may even fall asleep with juice or milk in their mouths. Bottled water, which does not contain fluoride, is also a contributing factor in the formation of cavities in children. Frequent snacking without an increase in teeth brushing can have devastating effects on the teeth of children. Daily drinking of fruit juices and the consumption of foods and drinks high in sugar increases the risk of cavities forming in children today.

Cavities are a result of tooth decay. When plaque forms on the teeth, it slowly eats away at the tooth’s enamel, causing decay. Plaque is made-up of food particles, saliva, bacteria, and acids in the mouth. Sugary drinks and foods cause harmful acids to form in the mouth, contributing to decay in the teeth. This decay results in the formation of cavities.

Tooth Decay and Teething

The early stages of tooth decay can mimic the side-effects of teething. During the earlier stages of tooth decay, children may feel a dull ache, which many parents mistake for teething. Cavities may not be discovered until the damage to the teeth is severe and the pain becomes overwhelming for the child. Because of this, it is essential that children have regular dental check-ups, which should start before your child’s first birthday.

Treatments for Cavities

It can be difficult for children to undergo dental treatments. Children often become scared or bored when having to sit through long dental treatments. We take pride in making every patient as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Depending on the severity of decay in the tooth, a tooth-colored filling or dental crown may be placed. For our patients with severely decayed teeth in Queens, dental crowns may be the best treatment option. To determine which treatments will be used in your child’s dental care, we will provide a thorough dental examination. To ensure the future health of your child’s teeth, we strongly recommend minimizing drinks and foods with excessive amounts of sugar and the enforcement of good oral hygiene habits, including routine dental check-ups and cleanings.

Contact Astoria Dental Group Today

To learn more about cavities in children, please contact Astoria Dental Group today.

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