Parents are sometimes puzzled by the number of cavities that develop in the teeth of their children. Many of these children are very youngtoo young, in fact, in the eyes of their parentsto be struggling with a dental condition like cavities so early on. The truth is, children can begin to suffer from tooth decay almost as soon as their teeth come in, so understanding the actual causes of cavitiesand staying away from assumption and myth, is the best way to proactively manage a childs dental health.
One of the complaints that dentists hear from parents is that their child should not have cavities due to the fact that he or she never eats sugar. This is not always an accurate statement, however, even though the parents may be speaking what they consider to be the facts. Most parents think that white sugar, candy, and other sweets represent the main cause of cavities in children. The believe that simply keeping children away from these foodsor minimizing themwill protect them against tooth decay.
The facts are a bit different than popular culture has led these parents to believe. The truth is, there are a number of hidden sugars in foods that most people would never dream of calling sweets. There are sugars in breads, milk, and even potatoes. These sugars can and do cause cavities in children that eat them. Also, other foods normally associated with nutritionsuch as fruitcan be turned into derivative snack products that can cause tooth decay. Fruit rollups and raisins both contain certain types of sugars that stick to the tooth surfaces. These sugars will actually stay on the tooth enamel longer than those in a soda. Surprising to many people as well, any drink in a baby bottle, even milk, has enough sugar to cause tooth decay if the baby keeps the milk in his or her mouth long enough.
If a person has an infant that is still nursing and the upper teeth are in the process of coming in, then the teeth will be exposed for prolonged periods of time during nursing. Oral bacteria thrive off the sugars in milk and will impact an infants formative teeth if proactive action is not taken. The best defense against cavities in infant children is to use a special, soft toothbrush made just for babies. Or, the teeth can be wiped with a washcloth, cotton swap, or cotton ball after each feeding.
There is also another myth floating around out there that genetics somehow affects cavities in children. While it is always possible that genetics plays much more in health than science has currently discovered, the facts are that dental decay is almost always the result of behavior or negligence, not some mysterious force within the DNA. For example, if one child out of a family of 5 has six cavities, and the rest of the children have none, there is probably some very simple, rational explanation for this. He or she may be eating more treats (or sneaking them), or, more likely, this child is using improper brushing or flossing techniques, or not doing them consistently enough.
In such cases, observation and supervision are the only way to guide children into better eating habits and dental hygiene practices.
Cosmetic implant dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services.
Make an appointment with the dentists at the Medical Center Dental Group. Give us a call toll free at 1. 888.790.0309, or or feel free to Ask the Dentist.