Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My son brushes his teeth regularly and he doesn’t eat a bunch of sweets, but it still seems that at his six month checkup he has developed new cavities. What do you think could be our problem?

There could be several different causes of the cavities that your son develops.
  • Many people are not aware of the sugar/carbohydrate content in most foods. These can decrease the pH in the mouth which provides bacteria an opportunity to thrive. These bacteria will cause more cavities.
  • Regularly consuming juices, gums, sticky substances
  • Not brushing 2-3 minutes after each meal.
  • Not flossing regularly

The following are ways to decrease the number of cavities:
  • Brush after each meal for 2 -3 minutes. Ensuring each tooth is completely cleaned. This should be done at least twice a day.
  • Brushing before bed.
  • Floss between each tooth. This should be done 2-3 times a day after brushing.
  • Chewing gum with xylitol when unable to brush
  • Using fluoride containing products (ex: ACT, Listerine Smart Rinse, etc.) to help re-mineralize teeth.
  • Keep a diet journal to see what is consumed. This would provide a clue as to what might be causing the cavities.

Depending on your son’s age, you might need to supervise him on brushing and flossing. Young children do not always have the motor skills to brush and floss efficiently.

Dr. Malije Onwueme
Neibauer Dental Care - La Plata, MD
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