Why Does My Child Keep Getting Cavities?

According to one report, about 42% of kids aged two to 11 get dental cavities.

st. louis child with cavity

You are aware of the importance of good oral hygiene habits. So, you brush your toddler’s teeth thoroughly two times a day. You are not giving him any candies or sugary drinks and his diet is overall balanced and healthy. So, why does he keep getting cavities?

The first thing that you need to know is that it’s not unusual. According to one report, about 42% of kids aged two to 11 get dental cavities. It happens so often that cavities are more common than conditions like asthma. Lack of proper oral hygiene, as well as an unhealthy diet, play an important role. However, that’s not the full picture.

How Babies and Toddlers Get Cavities

There is a group of bacteria called streptococcus mutans. The bacteria feed on sugar and produce acid that affects the structure of the teeth. It also creates plaque that erodes the teeth even more, depleting it from calcium. In time, the surface of the teeth is affected and eventually collapses. That’s when you get a cavity.

Babies are born without these bacteria but get infected by their caregivers (most often their mother.) Whenever you are kissing your baby on the mouth, eating with the same spoon or letting him use your toothbrush, you are creating opportunities for the bacteria to populate his mouth. And, if you have cavities yourself, then the chances of passing these bacteria on to them increases considerably.

What You Can Do

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that your toddlers brush his teeth correctly. It can be difficult for babies to understand the concept of cavities and why they need to brush. It’s also uncomfortable for them when someone sticks something into their mouth for no apparent reason. So, try to make brushing as fun as possible.

Here are some ideas:

  • Sing a song and dance while you are brushing
  • Let them brush the toy’s teeth first
  • Let them brush their teeth by himself. Praise him for a good job then tell him that you are just going to make sure that he didn’t miss anything.

It’s Never too Soon to Visit a Dentist

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Association (AAPD) recommends that babies see a dentist by their first birthday. If you wait too long, tooth decay may be well on its way and more difficult to prevent. If you haven’t already, then schedule an appointment with your St. Louis pediatric dentist as soon as possible. They can help you understand what you need to know about how to care for your kid’s pearly whites.

Give us a call today at (314) 862-7844. We’d be happy to help you setup an appointment!

Updated: November 24, 2020

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