Taking proper care of baby teeth is very crucial. If baby teeth are lost too soon, the remaining teeth may shift, leaving no room for adult teeth to emerge. Tooth decay can also be relatively expensive to treat, cause discomfort, and lead to severe infections if not prevented on time. Kids’ most common chronic infectious disease is tooth decay (also known as early childhood caries). Tooth decay can begin as soon as the first tooth emerges; thus, good dental habits should start early too. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has information for parents and caregivers about the causes of tooth decay, signs of dental decay, and ways to avoid tooth decay.
Why wait anymore? In this blog, we will discuss essential details related to this topic. If you have a toddler at home or want to gather a clear understanding of the topic, go through the sections below.
What Causes Tooth Decay In Children?
When acid-producing bacteria infect a baby’s mouth, tooth decay develops. Bacteria can be transferred from parents and caregivers to babies through saliva. Bacteria are spread through sharing saliva on spoons or cups, testing food items before feeding them to babies and wiping a pacifier in the mouth of the parent or guardian.
Tooth decay can also occur when a child’s teeth and gums are exposed to any liquid or food other than water for an extended period or regularly. Bacteria in the mouth convert natural or added sugars in beverages or foods to acid. The outer layer of the teeth is then dissolved by the acid, causing them to deteriorate.
When parents put their kids to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice, soft drinks (soda, pop), sugar water, or sugary drinks, the chances of tooth decay increase by many notches. It can also happen if youngsters are allowed to drink anything other than water from a sipper cup or bottle daily during the day or night. Milk should only be given with meals and not during the day, during naps, or before night. Although prolonged and frequent nursing does not cause tooth decay. All breastfeeding moms should be aware of specific recommendations regarding oral hygiene, fluoride, preventive dental treatment, and a nutritious diet.
Some Of The Common Signs In Kids
Each child’s tooth decay may be a little different. A frequent way for teeth to deteriorate and acquire cavities is as follows:
- White patches appear on the teeth in the affected locations. These patches indicate that the enamel is beginning to deteriorate. They may cause tooth sensitivity in the early stages.
- An early cavity may be noticed on the affected teeth. Its color is usually pale brown.
- The cavity gets more prominent with time. It changes from a darker brown to a blackish color.
The signs and symptoms of dental decay and cavities differ from one kid to another. Cavities are usually not accompanied by symptoms. Children may be unaware that they have a cavity until their dentist discovers it. However, your child may experience the following:
- Tremendous pain around the affected teeth
- Sensitivity to cold, hot, and sweet food items or beverages
Tips To Prevent Tooth Decay In Children
No matter the dental problem, it can always be prevented by adopting a few domestic measures. Tooth decay in kids is no exception. We have provided the tips to avoid tooth decay in the pointers below:
- Children should be taught good oral habits from an early age. Educate your kids to wash their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and floss on a regular basis.
- Make sure your child is getting enough fluoride. Fluoride hardens the enamel, making it more difficult for acid to penetrate. Although many cities require fluoridation of their drinking water, some do not. Ask your kid’s dentist about fluoride supplements if your water source isn’t fluoridated or your family drinks purified water. Although fluoride is present in most toothpaste, it can be insufficient to protect a child’s teeth. Too much fluoride, on the other hand, might cause tooth discoloration. Before augmenting, consult your dentist.
- Some food items should be limited or avoided. Cavities are caused by sugary foods, liquids, and sweets (particularly sticky gummy candies, gummy vitamins, fruit leather, etc.). If your children consume these items, encourage them to rinse their mouths or brush their teeth afterward to remove the sugar. Consuming sweetened liquid medicines falls in the same category. Always have your youngsters rinse or brush afterward.
- As your child’s permanent teeth emerge, the dentist can help prevent decay by placing a thin coat of resin (known as a sealant) to the teeth at the back, which is used for most chewing. This barrier prevents bacteria from collecting in the molars’ hard-to-reach fissures. But make sure your kids understand that sealants aren’t a substitute for thorough brushing and flossing.
Book an appointment at South Airdrie Smiles if you are looking for the best pediatric dentistry treatment in Airdrie, AB. Talking to our dentists in person will definitely help you know more about tooth decay in kids.