Santa Monica Dentist Rapid Smile Dental Group Dr. David Youssefi DMD

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Rapid Smile Dental Group, ~ Dr. David Youssefi DMD, FAGD ~ 2428 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste 403, Santa Monica, CA 90404 ~ (310) 696 - 6996


Fact Sheet: Children’s Oral Health

What foods cause tooth decay in children?

Many different types of food can cause tooth decay, not just candy. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, as well as some fruits, liquids, peanut butter, crackers and potato chips are culprits. Factors that cause tooth decay include the frequency in which the foods are eaten and the time they remain as particles in the mouth.


How does bacteria hurt teeth?

Decay is caused by bacteria that feed on any food that contains sugars and carbohydrates. Decay occurs when solid or liquid food particles are left unswallowed and cling to the teeth or gums for long periods. Bacteria in the mouth use sugars to produce acid that attacks the enamel of the teeth, softening and then eroding them. Enamel breakdown leads to cavities. If erosion spreads beneath the enamel, pain and sensitivity may eventually result. This can cause nerve infection, which can result in the need for a root canal.


How can children prevent damage to their teeth?

Children at school should rinse their mouth with water after meals, leaving their teeth free of sugar and acid. Children also should seek sources of fluoridation. If you purchase bottled water, be sure that it is fluoridated. Encourage children to drink tap or fountain water. Use a straw when drinking soda to keep sugar away from teeth. Remember, bottled juices are not a good alternative due to the high sugar content. Regular dental check-ups, combined with brushing with fluoride toothpaste also will help protect children's teeth.


How can you help your child prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their infant to the dentist just after the first tooth appears. Brushing teeth after meals, regular flossing and fluoride treatments are the best ways to prevent tooth decay. Children should also be supervised as they brush. A good rule of thumb is that when children can dress themselves and tie their own shoes, then they are ready to brush unsupervised. Children should be supervised in proper flossing techniques until the age of 10.


If you have any concerns about your child's dental health or want some tips on preventing tooth decay, ask your dentist.


From the office of:

David Youssefi, DMD, FAGD

2428 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 403

Santa Monica, CA 90404-2047

(310) 696-6996



This information was compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry.