How to Prevent Cavities for Children? | Sprout


How to Prevent Cavities for Children?

What are cavities?

Cavities are holes in the enamel layer of the tooth. If not treated, a cavity will grow and eventually affect the inner layers of the tooth as well. This can cause infection and lead to tooth pain and toothaches. Unfortunately, cavities are a very common health issue, especially among young children and adolescents.


Symptoms of a cavity can vary depending on its location and size. These include:
 Pain When Chewing or Biting Down
 Tooth Discoloration
 Toothache
 Tooth Sensitivity to Hot or Cold temperatures, and Sweets

When to see a dentist

You can’t always tell when a cavity is starting, so taking your child for regular dental checkups and cleanings is the surest way to prevent them. If your child is experiencing tooth pain, be sure to take him/her to the dentist as soon as possible.

Causes and risk factors

Tooth decay is a process that occurs over time. Bacteria feeds on any sugars and starches left on teeth, creating plaque. Over time, plaque destroys the enamel layer of the teeth. Once the enamel is compromised, plaque goes to work on the next inner layer of the tooth, called dentin. Dentin communicates with the nerve in the center of the tooth, so it is at this point, tooth pain becomes an issue. Several risk factors contribute to the formation of plaque and tooth decay. Inadequate brushing is a leading cause, as is not using a fluoride toothpaste or consuming fluoridated drinking water. Back teeth, which are often hard for children to clean thoroughly, are at higher risk of developing plaque.


Preventing cavities in children is a process that should begin while the child is still a baby. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child be no older than twelve months before going for his/her first dental visit. Scheduling regular dental visits for your child is the best way to prevent cavities.
Make sure to brush your child’s teeth twice a day until they can do so effectively themselves. Use fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride strengthens tooth enamel. Also, limit the amount of snacking your child does. When we eat, bacteria forms in our mouths and attacks our teeth. This is why, ideally, you should brush after meals. If your child snacks throughout the day, they are at increased risk for plaque build-up and tooth decay.

Request a consultation

If you’re in need of quality children’s dental care in the Greater Boston area, look no further than Sprout Kids Dentistry in Quincy. Dr. Anderson and her staff have created an environment designed to put your child at ease as they receive the outstanding dental care they deserve. Visit us online at or, better yet, call today to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Michelle Anderson is a pediatric dentist board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

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