Tooth decay, the most common chronic infection in children, occurs when acid-producing bacteria infects the child's mouth. To prevent tooth decay, familiarise yourself with sources of this bacteria and limit your child's exposure to it.
Sources of Tooth Decay in Young Children:
Too many non-water beverages. Drinking anything other than water from their bottle is not good for the child's teeth. Milk, formula, and other beverages should only be offered at meal times.
Too many sweet or sticky foods. Excessive exposure to sugary or sticky food is detrimental to young teeth. Limiting these foods and immediately cleaning the child's teeth after indulging in dessert or sweet foods are key factors in preventing tooth decay.
Infrequent dentist visits. Children should see a dentist every six months, with their first appointment scheduled as soon as a tooth appears (but no later than their first birthday). Frequent dental visits are crucial in preventing tooth decay and staying cavity free.
Poor oral hygiene. Not brushing the child's teeth allows the food remaining in the mouth to cause decay. For this reason, it's important to establish proper oral hygiene as soon as possible. Before the first tooth emerges, caregivers should brush the baby's gums with an infant toothbrush (or cloth) and water. Teeth, on the other hand, need twice-a-day cleaning with a fluoride toothpaste.
Saliva entering the child's mouth. Saliva entering the child's mouth can contain acid-producing bacteria. Avoid putting anything in the young child's mouth that may have been in someone else's.
As common as tooth decay is in children, it is incredibly easy to prevent. Check out our blog for even more vital dental information and oral hygiene tips.
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