February is Children’s Dental Health Month. Celebrate by keeping your kids’ mouths healthy. Tooth decay is an infection that can cause unnecessary pain.
Severe decay makes it hard for your child to eat, sleep, talk and learn. Children with cavities in baby teeth are 3x more likely to get cavities in adult teeth
What causes cavities?
It’s a simple formula: Germs + Food + Time on Teeth = Cavities
We all have germs in our mouths. After eating, the germs make acid that attacks teeth for 20 to 40 minutes. These acid attacks cause cavities.
It’s not just what you eat that causes decay, it’s also how often you eat. Drinking (except water) and snacking frequently means teeth are constantly exposed to cavity-causing acid attacks.
It’s not only sugary foods that cause tooth decay. High carbohydrate foods (bagels and crackers) and sticky foods (dried fruit and gummy snacks) also lead to cavities.
The good news? Cavities are preventable.
It’s important to:
- Floss daily as soon as teeth touch.
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Choose tooth-healthy snacks (cheese, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables).
- Have regular oral health checkups.
To further prevent cavities:
- Ask your child’s dentist about sealants, a protective coating for hard-to-clean teeth.
- Ask your child’s dentist or physician about fluoride varnish to prevent or reverse early decay.
And don’t forget to set an example for your child and take care of your own mouth.
Learn more tips at TheMightyMouth.org.