Preventing tooth decay in toddlers can help them later in life. Did you know that it’s estimated that by age four almost 25% of children have, or have had, a cavity? Bacteria that live in your mouth feed off the sugar and eat the enamel off the teeth. We see this most often in people who have poor brushing habits and in those who have high sugar diets.
We see tooth decay in toddlers because they have a brushing correctly one their own. We also mentioned diet. A lot of toddlers are picky eaters and these self-imposed dietary restrictions can create a limited diet full of starchy, sugary foods. So, how can you prevent early childhood tooth decay?
As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, it is important to schedule a dentist appointment..
When your child is an infant, clean their mouth by using a soft cloth to wipe their gums.
Baby bottle tooth decay is a very real thing. Never let your baby or toddler go to bed with a bottle, a sippy cup of juice, or milk. The sugars found in those drinks will cause cavities.
Help your child brush their teeth. Children are often uncoordinated and have a hard time reaching places.
As a parent, you’re laying the groundwork for your child’s oral hygiene habits for the rest of their life. Establishing good oral health habits at an early age will prevent tooth decay in their baby teeth and the habits your child learns will stick with them throughout their life. If you think your child might have a cavity, be sure to schedule an appointment with us today!
At Canyon Creek Dentistry in Temple, TX we believe that good oral health begins with good habits developed from childhood. Some parents do not see the need to care for baby teeth because they fall out. However, baby teeth are important because they pave the way for permanent teeth because baby teeth act as place holders for future permanent teeth. If your child’s baby teeth fall out too early, this could lead to overcrowding and potentially decay for their adult teeth. Here are Dr. Kinnari Prajapati’s top tips to caring for your child’s oral health and set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth, mouth, and gums.
When Should You Start Caring for Your Child’s Oral Health?
Caring for your child’s oral health should begin when they are babies. Dr. Prajapati encourages parents to start practicing healthy habits early so that you can prevent or reduce tooth decay in infants and children. Always clean your baby’s gums after feeding with a cool wet washcloth, gently massaging over the gums. Avoid testing the temperature of the bottle with your mouth, sharing utensils (e.g. spoons), or cleaning a pacifier or a bottle nipple by putting it in your mouth. These practices can help stop the transmission of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Familiarize yourself with the normal appearance of your child’s gums and teeth. Regularly, lift your child’s lips to check for suspicious small white or brown spots on his/her teeth. These white or brown spots may be a sign of dental decay (cavities), schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
When Should Your Child Start Going to the Dentist for Good Oral Health?
This is a common question we hear at Canyon Creek Dentistry in Temple, Texas. When your child’s first tooth emerges, you should bring them to Canyon Creek Dentistry for an initial visit. If your child does not have any teeth by age one, bring them to the dentist because this will help establish your child as a patient and help Dr. Prajapati spot any early signs of decay or other conditions that can affect their oral health. Yes, even babies can get tooth decay. Going to bed with milk or walking around sipping juice all day can wear down the outer layer of your child’s tooth leading to decay and cavities.
Should Your Child Use Fluoride For Good Oral Health?
When caring for your child’s oral health, the answer is yes. Your child’s tooth enamel can be broken down by starches and sugars from your food. If your child does not brush often or stay hydrated, this bacteria will start to wear down the teeth making grooves and divots in your child’s tooth making it difficult to maintain good oral health. Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance that coats the top layer of your tooth. This coating fills in the small divots and grooves made by bacteria and helps enamel grow back in these areas to keep your child’s teeth strong. Fluoride treatment is beneficial to patients that consume a large number of sugary drinks, have cavities, or poor oral health.
As your child gets older they will face many oral health decisions. Dr. Prajapati believes that a well-informed parent is an excellent start in caring for your child’s oral health. With a good foundation of oral health, you can help your child protect their oral and overall health for a lifetime. For more information about caring for your child’s oral health or to plan your next visit to Canyon Creek Dentistry in Temple, Texas, call our friendly staff today!