Cavities: One Of The Most Common Chronic Diseases Of Childhood
Cavities are one of the most COMMON CHRONIC DISEASES of childhood in the United States. Although cavities are one of the most preventable diseases, the CDC reports that 1 in 5 (20%) children, ages 5 to 11 years old, have at least one untreated decayed tooth, and 1 in 7 (13%) adolescents, ages 12 to 19 years old, have at least one untreated decayed tooth.(1) Many parents may not think that a baby tooth with a cavity is a big deal since it will eventually fall out, but that is a common misconception.
A cavity is caused by bacteria in the mouth, and unfortunately bacteria doesn’t just stop at the tooth. If left untreated, an infection on a baby tooth can creep down to the developing permanent teeth below. If the baby tooth needs to be pulled prematurely due to infection, the empty space where the tooth used to be could cause tooth alignment issues for permanent teeth which can further increase the risk of cavities in the future. Yikes!
For most people cavities and tooth decay can be largely preventable. Improper brushing, poor oral care habits, diet, and frequency of snacking are some of the biggest culprits for tooth decay, especially in kids. Most children don’t know how to brush their teeth properly and need help and guidance from adults. Unfortunately though, teeth brushing occurs at two very inconvenient times of the day (in the morning when we’re racing to get out the door and in the evening when we’re tired) so our children’s oral health can suffer as a result.
While brushing and flossing are very important in preventing cavities, scientists have discovered another way to help fight bad bacteria throughout the day – when it matters the most. If you’re familiar with probiotics and the incredible benefits they have for gut health, then you’ll be happy to hear that there is a different type of probiotic that has incredible benefits for your mouth. These probiotics prohibit activity of damaging bacteria (the ones responsible for cavities) and are called dental probiotics. What is a dental probiotic you might wonder? Get your geek on and read about the science behind our dental probiotics to find out!