Keeping your child cavity free may be able to be in your control! A study of Australian twins suggests that environmental factors are more important than genetics in determining who gets cavities. Both identical and fraternal twins showed to have equal risk of developing tooth decay and cavities according to this study. The research suggests that it’s not necessarily mom and dad’s genes causing oral health problems.
What causes cavities?
Instead of blaming mom and dad’s genes for your child’s cavities, take a close look at your child’s sugar consumption. Tooth decay usually results when certain types of bacteria metabolize too many sugary snacks. This leads to an acidic environment in the mouth, which attacks tooth enamel and causes cavities.
So remember! If genetics don’t predetermine poor dental health, then good dental habits is all that’s needed to protect your whole family’s smile for life!
Protecting your child’s smile for life
What’s the best way to protect your family’s oral health?
- Make sure they brush properly twice a day with toothpaste and floss once a day. Have your dentist watch you brush and floss to ensure that you are teaching them good technique.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, limit their sugary snacks and beverages. Juice and sugary drinks along with processed foods, are huge contributors to children developing cavities.
- Put a reminder in your calendar to help your remember to take them to see their dentist regularly.
Consider these dental tools to help protect your child’s oral health:
- Sealants –Sealants are a special type of plastic coating that acts as a barrier, protecting cavity prone areas. But remember, even with sealants, kids still need to brush!
- Mouthguards – If your children play sports or are active in things like skateboarding or snowboarding, it’s a good idea for them to wear a mouthguard. It’s the most effective way for them to protect their teeth from getting broken or knocked out. Not only does wearing a mouthguard cushion blows that would cause injuries to lips and face, but also can prevent jaw fractures.
- Orthodontics – A bad bite or teeth that are crooked our out of alignment can make it hard for your child to chew, interfering with eating. A bad bite can also make them more prone to cavities or gum disease, because it makes it harder to clean teeth properly. For teenagers and older children, Invisalign braces are great option. Teens especially love them as they can improve their smile without wearing unsightly metal braces.
Prevention is a lot healthier, easier and cheaper than fixing a problem! Take care of your teeth for a healthy, happy smile.