Many people will ask themselves why they should be concerned with early tooth decay because their child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out; which is a reasonable question.
Baby tooth decay is otherwise known as early childhood caries and can cause serious problems in children from birth.
Strong teeth do not only help in producing that perfect smile but also are essential in chewing food and developing the proper pronunciations of words.
Having early childhood dental decay can increase the risk of damaged adult teeth.
They can be expensive to treat, cause pain to your child, and could also lead to some life-threatening infections.
Below are some of the things to know about early childhood decay and how to prevent it.
Tooth Decay Risk Factors
Many factors contribute to tooth decay in young children. However, one of the most common ones is prolonged exposure to sugary drinks.
Another common cause is exposure to fermentable carbohydrates such as bananas, bread, and cereals. They break down into sugar on the teeth and body.
Bacteria use sugar to make acids that destroy the teeth with time.
It can also happen when the child is exposed to any liquid or food, other than water, for prolonged periods throughout the day.
One of the most common ways this happens is when parents leave their children with a bottle of milk or formula as they go to bed.
Preventing Early Childhood Dental Decay
One of the first measures parents should follow is scheduling their child’s first dental appointment within the first six months of their first tooth appearing, and no later than their first birthday.
Some of the other preventative measures include, but are not limited to:
1. The Child Should Learn How To Brush And Floss Daily
Before the baby’s first teeth come, it is advised to clean the gums by wiping them with a clean washcloth.
Once the primary teeth start jetting in, then a small and smooth baby toothbrush should be used, with a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
Once the child gets to three years old, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. When the child’s teeth touch each other, then it is time to floss them. Read more about children’s dental hygiene here: https://vineyarddental.com.au/how-to-care-child-dental-hygiene/
2. Prevent Prolonged Contact With Sugars
Parents should remove the bottle from the baby’s mouth before they fall asleep.
Doing this prevents the mouth bacteria from producing acids that could lead to decay.
It could also put the child at risk of getting ear infections and even choking.
3. Teaching The Child To Start Drinking From The Cup Early
It is advised to teach children to drink from the cup as early as possible, preferably before they get to one year.
Doing this prevents the liquid from pooling around the front teeth hence causing decay. Also, the frequent use of a training cup should be discouraged.
4. Check If The Water Is Fluoridated
It is beneficial to the child if they drink water that has fluoride in it.
If the tap water in the house comes from a well or another source that is not fluoridated, it is advised to see a dentist.
They may have the sample tested to check the natural fluoride content. If it does not have enough fluoride, then a fluoride supplement may be prescribed.
Also, they may apply fluoride varnish to their teeth to protect them from decay. The good news about tooth decay is that it can be prevented.
With the right care and using the preventative measures above, the child will grow up to have amazing healthy teeth.
This should not be taken lightly since early childhood dental decay can cause the child to lose teeth very early and also cause the permanent ones to be crowded and crooked.
If you need to take your child for a visit to the dentist, then look no further than Vineyard Dental Clinic.
Vineyard Dental Clinic offers a full array of dental services in Sunbury to help you and your family maintain healthy teeth.
We work with children, and adults, to find the most suitable solution to their unique issues.
To learn more about the services we provide, contact us today on (03) 9740 2048 or through our website https://vineyarddental.com.au/