Avoiding cavities for you and your kids isn't as hard as it's made out to be.
But first, lets get to know what causes them in the first place.
The Story Of Decay
The Role of Bacteria
There are thousands of different types of bacteria that live in child's gut, mouth, and externally on their skin that are a part of a healthy body. In your mouth, however, there is a certain strand of bacteria (streptococcus mutans) that live off sugars. This type of bacteria breaks down sugars and as a result excrete lactic acid. This acid is what chemically erodes away the enamel of teeth, making them soft and turning them brown. This is what we know as dental decay.
Not Just Sweet Foods
The bacteria that causes decay don't just thrive off chocolate or other types of confectionery. Bacteria like streptococcus mutans can live off any type of food that breaks down into simple carbohydrates. This means, as well as chocolate, cavities can be caused by bread, crackers, fruit and other types of food.
Where Decay Causing Bacteria Live
Fortunately, the bacteria live in something that even kids can remove: Plaque. Plaque is that white, cream-like material that forms on teeth after you eat.
No Plaque Means No Cavities
If there is no plaque on teeth, decay cannot develop. It's that simple. Brushing and flossing is the only predictable way of removing plaque. This is why it's so important to instil good oral hygiene habits in kids so that they maintain this throughout their lives. Unfortunately there aren't any mouth rinses or home remedies that can remove plaque as of yet. You still need the mechanical interaction of the toothbrush bristles, toothpaste to remove plaque. Think of it like removing heavy stains from dinner plates - you sometimes just need to put a bit of elbow grease in.
We can reduce our child's risk of decay by eating a healthy diet, with reduced sugars and carbohydrates. You don't need to completely eliminate these tasty treats from your lives, but eat in moderation. After all, even dentists eat chocolate too - what's life without it?
The Best Brushing Technique - How Dentists Brush
Removing plaque is fairly easy. You only need a soft toothbrush, 2 minutes, and a light amount of pressure to remove it. (Brushing too hard can damage your teeth too). Do this day and night and you and your family can be decay-free for life.
The best technique is to use a circular motion, where the toothbrush bristles move away from the gums. Plaque can also cause gum disease, so its important to not force plaque into the gums.
Then add flossing. 90% of the cavities that dentist see is caused by plaque being trapped in between teeth.The toothbrush bristles cannot simply get in between these tight areas. Even if you're kids aren't a fan of traditional floss, there are other tools available that can help remove plaque in between your teeth. We've compiled a guide here (Top 3 Tools to Replace Flossing).
Getting your kids excited about brushing is the aim of Kuzo. With great tasting flavours, we believe we can make the toothbrushing experience so much better that kids will just want to brush without you asking them.
By setting good habits when they're young, you can help avoid any surprises at your kids next dentist appointment. In combination with a healthy diet and good consistent brushing habits, your family can be decay free for life.