Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in children. Even babies can get cavities if they are put to bed with a bottle filled with formula, milk, or juice. Tooth decay is caused when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acid that wears away tooth enamel. Fortunately, cavities are preventable.
How Vitamin D Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay
In addition to brushing and flossing, vitamin D can help prevent tooth decay. According to Nutrition Reviews, studies have found that cavities in children can be reduced by as much as 50 percent by increasing the consumption of vitamin D. Vitamin D can help prevent cavities because it improves the health of bone and helps prevent osteoporosis. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphate through the intestines, which in turn strengthens teeth.
Research has shown that getting enough vitamin D can improve the development of a child’s teeth. It can also help with the formation of dentin, and the effects can last a lifetime. Vitamin D can protect the surfaces of teeth in a way similar to the way fluoride can, which reduces the risk of cavities. Vitamin D changes the amount of saliva and its components to improve the strength of tooth enamel. It can also improve immunity throughout the body.
How to Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Vitamin D
Children can get vitamin D from the foods they eat and from taking supplements. They can also get it from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays from sunlight.
Before you begin giving your child vitamin D supplements, you should discuss it with your pediatric dentist or pediatrician. He or she can tell you if your child needs supplements or is getting enough vitamin D from diet and sunlight. If your child needs supplements, a dentist or pediatrician can recommend the right dose. Studies have indicated that vitamin D supplements are ineffective at preventing cavities after the age of 13.
The Importance of Vitamin D During Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant can also help protect their babies’ teeth in the future by getting enough vitamin D during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to enamel hyperplasia in young children, which can contribute to cavities.
Brushing, Flossing, and Dental Exams Are Still Important
Even if your child gets plenty of vitamin D, brushing and flossing are still necessary to prevent cavities. Your child should brush twice a day and floss once a day, with assistance from you until he or she is old enough to do a good job. You should also take your child to a pediatric dentist for exams and cleanings. If you need to schedule an appointment for your child, contact CT Pediatric Dentistry today.