Why Are Cavities Common in Kids?

Does your child keep getting cavities? Dental cavities, or caries, are holes in the tooth enamel caused by harmful bacteria. These bacteria feed on sugars and starches left on the teeth and create digestive acids that eventually wear away the top layer of the tooth. This is one of the reasons why early dental care is essential. Children need to learn how to properly care for their smiles and build good oral health habits early.

Why Are Cavities Common in Kids?

Why Children Are Prone to Cavities

As your pediatric dentist in Mt. Airy, MD, we want to illuminate why your child may have cavities. Some of the most common reasons why children are more likely to develop cavities include: 

Sugary Foods and Drinks

Many children have a sweet tooth and eat sugary foods and snacks. Juices, sports drinks, sodas, and soft drinks can also hide sugar. Bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease feed on sugars and starches left in the mouth. 

Poor Oral Hygiene

Children who brush their teeth may not do the best job. They may skip flossing, not brush for long enough, or as thoroughly as they should. It can also be difficult for children to reach each part of their smile if they do not properly clean it.

Higher Levels of Harmful Bacteria

Everyone’s mouth contains bacteria. Good bacteria in the mouth create a microbiome that can help fight bad bacteria that cause cavities and other oral health problems. Some children may have more harmful bacteria in their mouths and are more prone to infection.

Fighting Cavities At Home and in our Mt. Airy Office

If your child has sudden tooth pain, sensitivity to cold drinks or foods, or white spots on their teeth, they may have a cavity. Visit our office for an examination and treatment. To prevent further cavities, make sure you’re supervising their oral hygiene routine. Ensure that your child flosses before brushing and that they brush for two minutes twice daily. 

We will recommend dental sealants, thin coatings that we place on the molars or the teeth in the back of the mouth. Molars are the most prone to cavities because they can be difficult to reach. Applying a sealant after cleaning will help protect the molars. Our office can also provide a fluoride treatment after each dental cleaning. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps remineralize and strengthen the tooth enamel.

Ensure your child drinks enough water and watch for sugary drinks that can stay on the teeth and gums. The sugar in sodas, juices, and other drinks can coat the teeth for hours without removal and can greatly increase the risk of decay if your child does not care for their smile properly. 

If you have any questions about cavities or need to schedule a routine visit for your child, please call Mt. Airy Children’s Dental Association today at (301) 781-5337 or request a dental appointment with Dr. David Hasson on our website.