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Cavity Free Child!!

 27 July 2014
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Children love eating junk and drinking colas. While they enjoy doing so, what they fail to understand is that too much of it can cause cavities, damage that cannot be reversed. It is the responsibility of parents to make them learn good oral habits, so that they remain cavity-freewrites Dr Vanishree A R, Axiss Dental, India’s leading multi-specialty chain of dental clinics.
Cavities are the worst thing to happen to teeth, as reversing them is not possible once they happen. The signs of tooth decay, if spotted early, can help contain the damage. However, if ignored, they lead to cavity – a hole through the two outer layers – enamel and dentin, the next layer after enamel. Once the hole reaches dentin, it progresses very fast, especially in children.
In today’s setting, modern lifestyle has a lot to contribute to unhealthy oral conditions in people, more so in children. Eating is important for the upkeep of body, but like unhealthy binging can have adverse impact on body’s health, it can have damaging affect on teeth too. While eating junk satiates the hunger for tempting food, not taking much care of teeth leads to tooth decay and cavities.
With junk food fast catching up with children and in the absence of proper oral care, cavities are happening in many kids now and the condition can become infectious and painful if not taken care of. While some children are too young to spot the early signs of tooth decay, parents should always be on the guard. In case the signs are ignored and no measures are taken to control the damage early on, the end result could even be loss of tooth.
A cavity happens when the enamel, the outermost layer of tooth, is exposed to acids constantly. The food that we eat or the drinks that we have contain sugar and starches, which triggers formation of plaque, a sticky substance consisting of bacteria, mucus and food particles. Plaque can play havoc with the healthy state of teeth by letting the acid attack to continue on the enamel. Once the enamel is invaded by the acid, the very moment tooth decay starts to happen.
Not only cavities lead to tooth loss, the pain and infection make the child uneasy. Children are not able to sleep and concentrate. The school-going ones even have to compromise with their studies as they skip school to visit dentists. While it is painful for the children, parents too have to compromise with their work schedule in a bid to look after their children.
Cavities are the outcome of poor hygiene. In case of children, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure good oral health. Though the condition can be treated with a filling, the damage is permanent. Even if children have cavities in baby teeth, they should not be ignored. Baby teeth help in speech development of the children as also lay ‘healthy’ ground for permanent ones that grows later on.
Tooth decay and cavities also adversely affect the health of children. As cavities are nothing but bacterial infection, there are many health risks associated to it. The bacteria can find a way to healthy organs through the oral route, putting overall health of the child in danger.
Inculcating good oral habits in children.
It is very important for parents to teach their children the importance of good oral habits. It is a proven fact that whatever children learn when they are young that learning stays with them whole life. It is thus the responsibility and duty of the parents to inculcate in children habits that are essential for maintaining proper oral health too. 
So teach your children to:
  1. Brush twice a day: Brushing teeth in the morning and before going to sleep is important. Parents should make their children aware about the ill effects of not brushing teeth and informed that food particles stay lodged in the teeth, which lead to acid creation that eats away the enamel of teeth and triggers decay.
  2. Floss at least once a day: Tell the children not to avoid flossing teeth as food particles stuck in between the teeth are hard to be removed with toothbrush. Ask them to floss teeth at least once a day, though doing so twice is always better.
  3. Brush properly: Tell them that brushing should be a wholesome exercise, involving inner, outer and the chewing surface. Only brushing the outer layer is a very wrong approach as food particles can get stuck anywhere and when not removed will result in plaque. Ensure that they brush the teeth for at least two minutes.
  4. Rinse mouth after eating: Not rinsing mouth after meals allows food particles to stay for a longer duration and produce acids which are disastrous for teeth, let your children know this and that acid is the culprit which erodes enamel and makes way for cavities.
  5. Avoid binging on junk: Ask them to eat limited junk food as it is not good for their oral as also overall health. They should know that consuming eatables that are high on carbohydrates, sugar and starch can wreak havoc on their teeth.
  6. Love the dentist: It is important to visit the dentist every six months. Let your child love going to the dentist, rather than being scared. Tell them that visiting the dentist will help keep teeth in good shape. Make it an enjoyable and important experience for them.
For children it is essential to understand the importance of healthy oral system. As times have changed with children deviating from healthy food to junk, taking good care of teeth and oral hygiene is very important. While childhood is the best period to have fun, stopping children from eating and drinking what they love is not advisable. Only thing what parents need to make them learn is that ‘Excess of Anything is Bad!’
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