Easter is around the corner and every holiday that promises candy also promises the potential of dental problems. Making sure your child’s dental health is in great shape is an important way to ensure they can enjoy their holiday and the treats that come with it. Thankfully, South Charlotte Dentistry has the knowledge necessary to help every step of the way. With cleaning and checkup options and a slew of other resources, they’ll be able to stop any possible cavities before they start.
Candy And Cavities
Dental hygiene is a necessary aspect of your child’s health.
Early positive dental habits can inform great oral health for a lifetime.
In contrast, cavities and tooth decay can create lasting problems that span far past adolescence. While we know the importance of prevention, it’s necessary to understand just what causes cavities and tooth decay that are so common in children.
Before we dive into the complex medical terms, it’s helpful to visit South Charlotte Dentistry’s page dedicated to explaining these terms. It can help dispel the confusion around even the most intimidating dental phrases. An example and one of the most pertinent for this discussion is their definition of Tartar and Plaque, though I recommend viewing the other definitions!
Tartar and Plaque – Plaque starts out as sticky deposits on teeth. The plaque caries bacteria that can damage tooth enamel and lead to cavities. If you remove plaque regularly, you can prevent permanent tooth decay and gum disease. If plaque stays on your teeth it hardens into tartar. Tartar, also called calculus, forms below and above the gum line, which can become a much bigger problem.
Tooth decay is the most common disease present in children across the United States. The CDC reported that more than 40% of children will experience some degree of tooth decay before kindergarten.
Monitoring your child’s dental health is important. You’d be surprised to see how that 40% manifests among age groups and cavities.
- 42% of two- to 11-year-old children have at least one cavity or filling
- 23% of two- to 11-year-old children have untreated dental cavities
- 21% of six- to 11-year-old children have cavities in their permanent teeth
- 13% of adolescents 12 to 19 years old have at least one untreated cavity
The talk of cavities begs the question, with Easter fast approaching, are cavities destined to follow? Americans spend roughly $28.11 per person on Easter Candy, and as a country, we spend $2.1 billion on sweets a year. Still, it’s important to know, Easter Candy isn’t what causes your, or your child’s, cavities.
For those sweets lovers out there, that news may read as the best bit of information you’ve seen in quite some time. The culprit for cavities is really dental bacteria, commonly known as plaque.
Plaque forms a layer on your teeth and relies on the sugar in your candy as a way to live and feed itself. This obviously spells some bad news for your candy-loving children, especially during times when candy is easily accessible.
Ways To Combat Cavities
While your dental appointment (which we’ll get to later) is the only real way to prevent cavities and ensure dental health, there are some useful tips you can employ to help mitigate problems for your kids in between dental visits.
Types of Candy Matter
Knowing which types of candy can wreak the most havoc on dental health is vital. For instance, gummy, sticky candy can nestle itself into hard-to-reach gaps in teeth, causing tooth decay and providing a place for plaque to grow, while dark chocolate, with its high cocoa content, can actually inhibit some forms of bacterial growth (in moderation).
Hard candies and acidic sour candies can also do some real damage, with acidity providing high sugar contents and hard candies creating situations ripe for tooth chipping.
Water Is Your Friend
Hydration is not only a bedrock of good health of the mind and body, it’s also a huge aid to your dental hygiene. If your kid is eating Easter candy, it’s a good idea to encourage them to hydrate. Drinking water can clear debris and neutralize sugars. It also helps prevent dry mouth, another condition that gives rise to a multitude of oral problems.
Rinsing with water provides similar benefits, so asking your child to rinse after a candy-eating session is likely a good idea to give their teeth a much-needed refresher.
You Are What You Eat
While a healthy diet is an obvious way to produce health benefits, including those related to your dental hygiene, there are some ways you can alter your diet for the sake of your mouth. Adding cheese and nuts, which are both acid-rich, can aid the remineralization of your teeth.
Additionally, water-dense fruit and vegetables can provide robust benefits outside of those offered by their nutritional values. Contributing to an increase in hydration levels and in term saliva production, other ways our body keeps bacteria from hanging onto our teeth.
Follow The Tried-And-True
You’ve likely heard this advice before– the reason being is it’s by far the most widely known and battle-tested. Make sure you and your child are brushing your teeth two times daily, flossing regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet.
Candy can be a fine treat to have in moderation but if you’re failing on the tried-and-true front the damage it can cause is immeasurable.
Go To The Dentist!
Easily one of, if not the most, important things to do to safeguard you and your child’s dental health during a season of sweets is to schedule and maintain regular dental appointments.
While those of you that are parents of younger children may not see those early visits as necessary, they’re extremely important to safeguard future oral hygiene. South Charlotte Dentistry recommends children be seen at age 4. However, children with poor oral hygiene or visible areas of concern should or can be seen as early as 2 years of age, a practice done by South Charlotte Dentistry.
Baby Teeth are extremely important, allowing for proper speech development, teeth spacing, and chewing.
Having a professional examine their growth can ensure those processes are happening in a healthy and sustainable way. Making sure they’re protected by professionals, regardless of the holiday season, is a great way to guarantee a lifetime of confident smiles.
The Benefits of Dental Appointments
More than half of Americans have reported putting off their dental appointment since the beginning of Covid, a cause for real concern. While you may be in the same boat, you would be astounded to read about the benefits of regular dental appointments, both for adults and adolescents.
Those with younger children would be surprised at the healthy habits early dental appointments can help reinforce. With early exposure to dentistry, limiting possible dental anxiety, and the benefits of having a reliable dentist who can monitor growth, you’re creating the perfect environment for good teeth.
Regular appointments can also catch underlying health problems, with types of cancers, gum disease, diabetes, and other diseases having identifiers in oral conditions. A visit to the dentist can quite literally save your or a loved one’s life.
Getting An Appointment
With the knowledge you have, you’re likely looking to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. South Charlotte Dentistry has been serving the South Charlotte area for 23 years and has been a constant fixture in an ever-changing area.
With positive reviews and a reputation as one of the best dentist’s offices in Charlotte, South Charlotte Dentistry can tackle you and your family’s dental needs, plaque and all.
-J. Dalton George