Why Does My Child Keep Getting Cavities?

You’ve made multiple trips to the dentist. You feed your baby a healthy diet and even limit their sugar intake. You brush their teeth daily and even floss, only to discover that your little one has a cavity.

Again! This may keep you wondering why the cavities are occurring despite all the efforts. If this sounds familiar, read on to learn what causes cavities in children and how to prevent them.

What Causes Cavities?

Contrary to what most people believe, cavities occur due to a combination of various behavioral, biological, and environmental factors. Tooth decay is beyond a child brushing their teeth frequently or munching on candy. Common culprits for cavities in children include:

Oral Bacterial Colonization

Cavities in children are caused mainly by an infectious bacterial disease. Harmful bacteria inside the mouth make acid that damages the teeth, eventually causing cavities. These unhealthy bacteria feed on sugar, so when your child consumes foods rich in sugar, these bacteria feed off the sugar, metabolizing it into dangerous waste products that cause tooth decay.

Oral Hygiene Habits

The second culprit is poor oral hygiene habits in children, which can increase their risk of tooth decay. You can start teaching your child good oral hygiene habits when they are babies, as soon as their first tooth emerges. Brushing your child’s teeth regularly helps remove dirt and cavity-causing bacteria and strengthens their dental enamel.

Dietary Habits

As mentioned earlier, cavity-causing bacteria depend on sugar to survive and multiply. No wonder constant consumption of sugary foods, snacks, and drinks exposes children to more risk of developing cavities.

Mouth Breathing

Saliva plays a significant role in our mouths, which is to protect our teeth and remove food particles. It also repairs damage from disease-causing bacteria. Young children who breathe via their mouths rather than noses have low saliva content, which can cause a dry mouth. This increases their risk of developing cavities.


Genetics can also play a role in your child’s cavities. Some children may have a genetic vulnerability to cavities. Research indicates that nearly 60% of tooth decay involves genetic factors.

How Can I Help My Child Prevent Cavities?

  • Limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.
  • Teach your child good oral hygiene habits. Make sure they brush their teeth in the morning and evening before bed. Frequent flossing can also help remove plaque.
  • Consider dental sealants to help seal off the chewing surface, preventing it from food particle build-up.
  • Encourage your child to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste after drinking or eating.
  • Take your child to their pediatric dentist regularly.

Book an Appointment with Chula Vista Pediatric Dentistry Today

If your baby keeps getting cavities and you don’t know why, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists to discuss the things you can do to help them stay cavity-free.

At Chula Vista Pediatric Dentistry, we care about your child’s oral health. We provide regular oral exams and professional teeth cleaning. Call our dental office at (619) 482-1210 to discuss your child’s dental needs with Dr. Rene.

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