Countless parents believe that if their kids consistently brush their teeth, twice a day, every day, they will be able to avoid tooth decay, painful cavities, and dreaded emergency dentist visits. However, experts warn that’s not actually the case for all kids. Of course, you should still encourage your kids to brush each morning and night

A new study out of Edinburgh University says that even if your child has decaying teeth, you won’t be able to undo it, even with the most vigorous brushing routine. And if a child does have decaying teeth, they’re at risk of having the tooth pulled completely. Dr. Valeria Skafida is the lead researcher for this study, and she spoke with Sun U.K. about the findings.

“Even with targeted policies that specifically aim to reduce inequalities in children’s dental decay it remains an ongoing challenge to reduce social patterning in dental health outcomes,” she said.

According to the Sun U.K.the only way to actually prevent tooth decay is by eliminating sweets completely. Brushing twice daily is good, but it doesn’t ensure a lack of cavities. While some parents have decided to cut sugar out of their children’s diets completely, most parents aren’t quite so restrictive when it comes to sweets. Unfortunately, that may mean accepting the possibility of childhood cavities. Fortunately, kids have an entire second set of teeth to look forward to.

Tooth decay happens when the tooth’s outer coating softens and diminishes after coming in contact with sugars and acids, and hard candy, sugary drinks, and sodas can be especially dangerous. This often results in the formation of cavities, a dental issue that nobody is a stranger to. In fact, 60% to 90% of school-age children worldwide and nearly 100% of adults have or have had dental cavities.

At Romper, writer Josie Rhodes Cook says even though the study found that brushing can’t help prevent decay completely, it obviously doesn’t mean you should stop teaching your children the importance of good brushing and flossing habits. Instilling these values at a young age could help ensure good oral health later in life, as well.

In addition, you should encourage your children to snack on healthier treats such as vegetables and fruits. If you notice that your child is struggling to eat them, you can do a few things to help. Tricks to help your child eat healthier snacks include:

  • Offering dipping sauces
  • Dressing veggies up with fun additions
  • Hiding veggies in sauces/breads

Despite the fact that 90% of United States households regularly eat frozen, sweet treats, it’s vital to encourage moderation and healthier alternatives. While a special treat may be delicious, it can hurt your child’s teeth.