Why do children have cavities despite of regular brushing?
One of the common concerns that parents have is that despite regular brushing their children suffer from tooth decay or cavities. It is to be kept in mind that dental cavities are a multi-factorial disease which originates primarily due to lack of oral hygiene. Combination of a number other common factors such as high sugar diet and many more worsen the situation.
Usually, children brush as quickly as possible and don’t like the interference of adults in this activity. Their brushing technique misses on “tough to reach” areas such as close to gum lines and those in between the teeth. Actually, these are the areas where the germs or bacteria reside and dwell on the food that keeps getting stuck in.
Hence, to avoid the primary causes of cavities, brushing in children is to be done strictly under the supervision or assistance of an adult until the age of ten to twelve years. Children can be allowed to brush independently once all the permanent teeth have set in. Flossing or interdental cleaning using water flossers or an electric brush are some of the ways to keep the in-between areas of the teeth clean.
Frequent intake of food is also one of the common factors of cavities. The carbohydrate in the food is broken down into a form of sugar which is a treat to the bacteria. They feed on these sugars, produce acid which softens the tooth and gradually forms a cavity. Thus, frequent intake of food increases the chance of tooth decay.
A good thumb rule to keep safe your children’s teeth is to offer them breakfast, lunch, dinner and two healthy snacks in between meals. The intake of sweets and amount of treats is to be limited. One of the easiest ways to neutralize the pH in the mouth is by frequent intake of water which will wash down anything we consume. This, in turn, will decrease the incidences of cavities.
The conclusion is that brushing alone does not prevent tooth cavities or decays. Below mentioned action plan would successfully lead to decreased incidence of cavities.
Proper brushing to be done under the supervision of an adult, using a fluoride toothpaste
Proper dietary guidance
Interdental or flossing cleaning in an alternate manner
Periodic dental visits every six months