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My Kid Went to Summer Camp and Came Home with a Cavity

I couldn't believe it when the dentist looked at me and told me that MY kid has a cavity. "Not my kid", I shrieked. Seriously, I shrieked. Clutching the pearls and shaking my head in total disbelief. I know a cavity isn't the end of the world but somehow a cavity invading my son's precious little teeth really struck a nerve with me. How did THIS happen? I mean we brush 3 times a day. We floss. Visit the dentist regularly. Limit sugary snacks. Drink fluoridated water. Avoid colas and sodas and opt for juice.

Juice.?! Juice? OMG…juice!!! Now that I think about it, juice is probably the culprit in my kid's case. I typically buy unsweetened fruit juices and avoid sugar-laden juices. I can't taste any difference and I imagine the kids can't either. I mean they never complained about it. Plus, this devout label reading mama noticed our regular apple juice contained nearly 30% SUGAR per 8 oz. serving and immediately switched to unsweetened juices. However, when my kid asked for fruit nectar to take with him to Summer Camp, I bought it without glancing at the label. Only recently when I read the label did I discover it had a whopping 42 grams of sugar per 8 oz. can.  That's over 13 teaspoons of sugar per can. Crazy huh?

Our dentist has reassured me all is not lost. Cavities are common and that's why good oral health is so important. My son is scheduled to get his filling today and our dentist reassured me this will help prevent further decay. It's a quick procedure and my son's tooth should be fine.

Our dentist also offered these few tidbits of advice:

1. Look for Hidden Sugars. Fruit drinks and even breast milk and formula contain sugar. This is one of the primary reasons it's so important to brush and floss between meals. Sugar causes tooth decay and sugar is everywhere. Read food and drink labels. Be wary of other names for sugar such as glucose, fructose and other names for hidden sugars.

2. Chewing SUGARLESS Gum is a Good Thing. Our dentist tells us that chewing a sugarless gum with Xylitol, like pur Gum. Chewing sugarless gum helps increase saliva flow which helps ward off those harmful tooth-decaying bacteria.

3. Start Early. Good dental health begins early. Babies' first dental visit should occur around age 1, if not sooner. Take care of those gums by wiping babies' gums with a damp washcloth after feeding to keep those harmful bacteria from growing.

4. Brush Your Teeth with Your Child. Children emulate what they see and if they see you brushing your teeth, they're sure to copy your good habits.

5. Watch for Signs of Tooth Decay. Most cavities are some huge gaping hole in your kid's teeth. Usually, cavities are invisible to the human eye and require a dentist diagnosis. Contact your dentist if your child has a toothache or you notice any visible hole in their teeth.

Take care of your teeth AND your kid's teeth also.

Have you ever had a cavity?  Has your kid?  Let me know, leave a comment below.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Pur for the opportunity to sample Pur Gum's latest flavors: Bubblegum and Chocolate Mint. The views expressed above are mine. We received product samples in exchange for this review. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review. For more information on the Disclosure Policy of Three Boys and an Old Lady blog, please visit


Harrison Buck said…
After living through a cavity prone childhood, I tried to make sure my son wouldn't do the same. But I made the same mistake, and assumed juice wouldn't cause cavities. He ended up getting his first cavity at age 6, but after switching to limited amounts of no sugar added juice and chewing sugar-free gum, no more problems!

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