Young children are at high risk of tooth decay. In fact, they are more prone to cavities and other dental problems because most of them are yet to know proper oral hygiene and its importance. Therefore, you should educate your child about good oral habits to avoid one of the most common dental problems — tooth decay.
Tooth Decay in Children
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in children. Many kids aged two to 11 have dental caries despite the fact that it’s preventable.
How does tooth decay develop?
Tooth decay develops when there are bacteria in the child’s mouth. The bacteria, which feed on sugar and starches, produce acid that eats away the teeth. This causes dental caries or tooth decay.
Tooth Decay Prevention Tips
Tooth decay in children can be avoided. You can help your child by:
• Introducing proper oral hygiene. For babies below six months, you can use a clean washcloth to clean the surface of the tongue and gums. Brushing should start as soon as the first tooth erupts. For older kids, teach proper brushing and flossing techniques. Encourage them to brush the teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day.
• Limiting sodas, candies, and other sugary foods. The bacteria in the mouth love sugar. The more they eat, the more acid they would produce. This means higher chances of developing tooth decay.
• Not letting your child sleep with a bottle. Baby bottle tooth decay is a common dental problem in younger children. This is a result of leaving the bottle inside the mouth during sleep. The sugar from the milk or juice makes a good breeding ground for bacteria.
• Ensuring drinking water contains fluoride. Fluoridated water is good for the teeth, as it makes the teeth strong and helps prevent tooth decay. You can have your drinking water checked at your dentist’s office to see if it contains fluoride. If not, the dentist can give your child fluoride treatment.
Introducing the Importance of Dental Checkups
You should start bringing your child to a pediatric dentist in Utah at the age of six months. This allows for establishing a dental home, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Also, tooth decay may be detected at its early stage when you take your child to the dentist regularly.
Tooth decay can cause intense pain, which is too much for a small child to bear. Also, it could lead to tooth loss and other oral problems. Teach your child proper oral hygiene and use these tips to help them avoid tooth decay.