If one of your children seem to get cavities more often, or they seem to get more cavities than their friends, you may be wondering what’s going on. Why would one child get more cavities than another? In this blog from Saginaw Kids Dentistry, we’ll discuss the basics of cavities, what can contribute to their formation, and how you can help your child avoid them.
No two mouths are the same. Even if you’re comparing one of your children to their sibling, there are lots of different things that can make one child more likely to get cavities than another. Here are just a few common factors:
- Anatomy of the mouth and teeth – Some kids have thinner enamel compared to others, which can make them more susceptible to develop cavities. In addition, one child may have deeper pits and grooves in their teeth. These are more likely to catch food and debris, which can also raise their risk of cavities. Teeth that are really close together may also lead to cavities, since it’s harder for kids to clean between these teeth.
- Diet and hydration – A diet that’s high in sugary and acidic foods and beverages will increase the risk of getting cavities. Hydration is also a big factor. If your child does not drink enough water, their saliva flow will decrease. Saliva neutralizes acid and washes away food particles, which helps prevent cavities. Poor saliva flow can increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Oral hygiene habits – When your child starts brushing his or her own teeth (typically around the age of 7), it is important to monitor them. Make sure they're brushing every surface of their teeth and using a fluoride toothpaste. They should brush 2-3 times per day. If one of your children is getting a lot of cavities, they may not be brushing properly, or they may not be brushing enough. It is also recommended that you help floss your child's teeth to help reduce chances of your child developing cavities in between their teeth.
- Bacterial colonization – Children are not born with the bacteria that causes cavities. Instead, these bacteria find their way into their mouths over time. This means that there are certain things that can transfer these bacteria to your child's mouth, such as sharing toothbrushes, food, or drinks with adults or kids who have these bacteria in their mouths.