A very common dentistry myth or misconception is that only children are susceptible to cavities. Cavities, also known as dental caries, result from bacteria growth in the mouth, usually coupled with poor dental hygiene habits. While many cavities occur in children, adults are just as susceptible to the development of dental caries and, in many cases, cavities in baby teeth can lead to cavities in adult teeth if oral hygiene habits are not improved.
Family dentists recommend children be seen for their first checkup around the time their first teeth come in. The child should at least be seen by their first birthday, especially if teeth have not started coming in by that point. Parents are required to assist children in brushing their teeth until the children develop the manual dexterity necessary to effectively floss and brush without supervision.
While many cavities occur in children, adults are just as susceptible to the development of dental caries and, in many cases, cavities in baby teeth can lead to cavities in adult teeth if oral hygiene habits are not improved.
When teeth are not brushed completely, and flossing is ignored, plaque builds between teeth, on teeth, and near the gumline, creating the foundation for bacteria to develop. If left alone, plaque hardens to tartar, dental calculus, which can make it more difficult to clean teeth and maintain oral health. The gums often become inflamed from the poor brushing and flossing habits. The gums may bleed easily when flossing, brushing, and visiting the family dentist for a checkup. The earlier children learn good, efficient brushing and flossing habits, the better their success at staving off cavities throughout life.
Diet choices offered to children, or selected as adults, can also impact teeth. Acidic foods and beverages weaken enamel, the protective layer surrounding teeth. As enamel weakens, sugars from sweets, carbohydrate-rich roods, and natural sugars in fruits and vegetables, can promote bacteria growth in the mouth and attack weakened spots in enamel where cavities can develop.
For more information on preventing and treating dental caries and maintaining good oral health for life, contact our experienced dental team at 718-389-1120 today!