Kids and cavities, they seem to go hand in hand. In fact, at least one survey result has stated that over 40% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have already been affected by tooth decay. The ADA has identified tooth decay as the most common chronic disease among the childhood population of the US. Considering these statistics it’s no wonder that dental professional stress the importance of prevention.
If parents see to it that their children visit a pediatric dentist twice a year at six month intervals and that they follow a daily routine of proper home care the odds of their getting a cavity greatly decreases. Some children however, are for various reasons more vulnerable to the disease.
The basic anatomy of a tooth can make it more susceptible to infection. The permanent molars are made to chew and are full of grooves that make the job easier. Some teeth have particularly deep grooves that provide a perfect place for cavity causing bacteria to gather, a place that a toothbrush may well miss.
Saliva is nature’s way of cleansing the surface of our teeth to get rid of the harmful bacteria that forms there. When the salivary glands fail to produce a sufficient amount of saliva the bacteria wins out and the risk for tooth decay increases.
Oral bacteria can be passed on from parent to child. A mother for example, who is trying to encourage her toddler to eat healthy fruits and vegetables may try demonstrating how really tasty the food is by eating some herself. If she’s using the same spoon to feed her child she could be sharing her own bacteria as well.
There is help for those kids at high risk. In-office fluoride treatments can help to strengthen their tooth enamel and sealants can protect their molars from bacterial infection. Make an appointment to talk to Dr. Patterson of Colorado Dentistry for Kids about more ways to protect your child. Call 303-367-1502 today.