Q&A Topic: Preventing Dental Cavities in our Pediatric Population
Minerva Patel, DDS
Q: What causes cavities in children?
A: The combination of bacteria, food, and acid that sticks to the teeth is the main cause of cavities. Over time, the acids made by the bacteria eat away at the tooth’s enamel (the outer layer), causing cavities.
Q: How do you prevent cavities?
A: Starting good oral habits early on in life is the key to prevention. Using fluoride in moderation regularly is also important to help harden enamel. Eating a well-balanced diet, low in sugar and monitoring the frequency of how many times a caloric substance is ingested all play a role in maintaining a healthy oral cavity. A Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist has the knowledge to help you create a plan for your child/children.
Q: Can cavities be reversed?
A: Tooth decay can be reversed if it is still localized in the enamel. Board-Certified Pediatric Dentists have two to three years of specialty training after dental school to perfect and study the biology of caries in children. They have the special skill set to implement programs at home for you and your child/children to help re-mineralize small cavities, hence preventing drilling and filling.
Q: Do children need cavities filled?
A: Baby teeth are the only teeth your child will have for several years until the adult teeth erupt, so it is very important to maintain them for form, function and aesthetics. To preserve your child’s/children’s teeth that may have a cavity, your Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist may recommend a filling or crown. In our practice, we focus on teaching lifelong habits to our families with infants before this even becomes a problem. We have had great success with our families that visit us by the age one, in keeping our patients cavity-free till they become young adults.
Westchester Pediatric Dentistry
95 Church Street, Suite 308
White Plains, NY 10601