Why does my 4 year old son have decay when he brushes every dayand eats the same things as his sister who has great teeth?

Decay is caused by a number of factors working together over a period of time. Firstly, bacteria (or plaque) is present in every child's mouth -it's the white film you can scratch off with your fingernail. With eating or drinking, these bacteria have food to make acid. It's this acid which can dissolve the tooth surface, causing a cavity. Some foods produce more acid than others. Also, some children are more prone to developing cavities than others because they have more decay-forming bacteria in their mouth. The saliva quality and quantity varies between children. Your child may not have the full protective effects of saliva and need extra preventive oral care.

To help your child you can do a few simple things:

  • Help keep their teeth clean and reduce plaque by regular brushing and flossing
  • Reduce the frequency of snacks throughout the day
  • Strengthen the tooth surface, making it more resistant to acid attack with fluoride, tooth mousse and fissure sealants
  • Have regular dental check-ups to catch any problems in the early stages

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