It’s the time of year for all things that go bump in the night. But if you really want to send shivers down your spine, don’t reach for a ghost story. Read up on the real life facts about tooth decay. Cavities are truly scary, not only because of their prevalence, but also because of their long-term effects. Fortunately, when you have a good pediatric dentist on speed dial, you can lay your fears to rest.
Dr. Matt, Dr. Craven, and the entire team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids are here for you! We know that you want the best for your child and that, when something goes wrong, it can be very scary. At our Overland Park, KS, practice, we are committed to thorough preventive care to keep cavities at bay. But if tooth decay does occur, we offer fast and effective treatment, specifically tailored for kids.
To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.
1. Cavities Are Incredibly Common – Even Among Children!
Tooth decay is the most common health problem in the United States. 52% of children between the ages of 6 and 8 have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth. And 57% of teens have developed decay in their permanent teeth.
Factors that can increase the risk of tooth decay include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- A diet high in sugar
- Insufficient fluoride intake
- Dry mouth
2. Untreated Tooth Decay Can Have Far-Reaching Health Effects.
Cavities in baby teeth might not seem like a big deal since your child will lose these teeth anyway. But early tooth decay can set the stage for a lifetime of oral problems. Untreated, these teeth will eventually come out, and, in turn, this can lead to widespread misalignment of adult teeth. Furthermore, when kids lose their teeth too early, it can affect oral development, including both speech and normal chewing patterns.
Untreated cavities can even cause systemic health problems. Eventually, a cavity may turn into an abscess. From there, bacteria can spread to other teeth and even to the heart and brain.
3. Prolonged Bottle Use Can Increase the Risk of Cavities.
To help prevent early childhood cavities, or “baby bottle tooth decay,” avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle. Teach your child to use a cup by their first birthday, and make sure they are drinking plenty of water. You can fill the cup with milk, formula, or breast milk with meals, but in between, pure H2O is best!
4. You Can Pass Cavities on to Your Kids!
Cavities are caused by oral bacteria, and like most bacteria, these microbes are contagious. Though it’s common to share eating utensils and cups with kids, when you do so, you can pass cavity-causing bacteria on to your children. Of course, maintaining good hygiene yourself – through daily care and regular dental visits – is essential for your entire family’s oral health.
Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids Today
Regular exams and cleanings can greatly reduce the risk of cavities in children. To schedule your appointment, contact us online or call (913) 685-9990.