Summertime and Sugary Snacks

Summertime calls for time spent outside in the sun. Whether at the pool, at the ballpark or just in the street, your kids are going to want a frosty, sugary drink to cool down. Lemonade, sweet tea, Kool-Aid and Gatorade, all popular summertime drinks with kids, each contain loads of sugar. These drinks, combined with candy and other sweet treats, can cause cavities. Luckily, the summer is a great time to see a pediatric dentist to make sure these sugary drinks are not negatively impacting your children’s dental health.

Why Sugary Treats Cause Cavities

There are many different factors that play into the creation of a cavity. Sugar, though, is one of the more prominent ones. When bacteria consume leftover carbohydrates, such as the ones found in sugary drinks and candy, they make an acid that combines with saliva to form plaque. Then, the plaque, if not brushed away properly, begins to eat away at your teeth. Cavities can then form because of weakened enamel. Sugary drinks, specifically, leave behind refined carbohydrates to be eaten by bacteria in your mouth.

How to Treat a Cavity

The best way to treat a cavity is to visit your local dentist. He or she can identify and treat the variety of possible cavities. From mild to severe, different treatments exist for each. If you need of a pediatric dentist in The Woodlands, TX or surrounding areas, check out Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry.

Frequent dental checkups are recommended because treatment for a cavity in its early stages is simpler and cheaper than for an advanced cavity. Many early-stage cavities can be treated by using calcium or fluoride to strengthen the tooth’s weakened enamel. For a more serious cavity, your dentist may have to administer a filling or root canal. Fillings require your dentist to physically remove the tooth’s decay and cover it with a special compound. Root canals, even more serious than fillings, are only necessary when the damage has moved to the pulp or nerve of the tooth.  

How to Prevent a Cavity

Making sure your kids brush their teeth twice per day for at least one minute is crucial to preventing cavities. Brushing teeth removes the plaque built up on your child’s teeth from their summertime sugary drinks. Flossing is also crucial because it removes any buildup between teeth. Combined, brushing teeth and flossing will help your child stay cavity-free.

One practical way to help your kids avoid cavities from summertime sugary drinks is to encourage them to drink them only during meals — instead of between meals. This limits the exposure of your child’s teeth to the acid from sugars. Supplementing your child’s diet with calcium-rich food and drink strengthens your child’s teeth.

The best way to prevent your child getting a cavity, though, is and will always be to have regular checkups with a pediatric dentist. The dentist will offer case-specific advice for your child on how to treat any current cavities and to prevent future ones. Offering an environment designed specifically for kids, Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry serves The Woodlands, TX and surrounding areas.

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