TWO OUT OF EVERY FIVE kids will end up with one or more cavities by their eleventh birthday. At those numbers, cavities are the most common childhood disease. What can parents do to fight these odds? We’re here to help by identifying the biggest childhood cavity culprits.
Treats and snacks loaded with sugar are a big one, especially when kids are munching on them throughout the day. It takes saliva about thirty minutes to wash away food residue and neutralize acids produced by oral bacteria. When kids are in a continuous state of snacking, their saliva can’t do its job, leaving their teeth to be constantly bathed by acid, which erodes enamel and leads to decay. We recommend keeping the sugary treats to mealtimes and offering sliced fruits and veggies if they still want snacks between meals.
Another big culprit is sugary drinks. We aren’t just talking about soda; fruit juice is a major cavity-causer too! When kids are able to sip fruit juice all day from a sippy cup or as they fall asleep, it produces the same result as continuous snacking. This is so damaging to teeth that we refer to it as “bottle rot.”