Cavities (tooth decay) are permanently damaged areas in the enamel of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Tooth decay or carriers are caused by a number of factors such as frequent snacking, consuming sugary snacks, and bacteria in the mouth. Children with tooth decay can experience pain, infection, and tooth loss.
How to Avoid Cavities in Children’s Teeth
- Teach them the importance of oral hygiene routine. Proper dental care is crucial to preventing cavities. Regular brushing should start when your child’s first tooth comes out. You can clean the teeth with a soft toothbrush and rice-sized amounts of fluoride toothpaste. When they are three years old, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. You need to assist your kids with brushing their teeth until they are able to do it by themselves.
- Get enough fluoride Fluoride prevents the acids produced by the bacteria in plaque from dissolving the tooth enamel. It also allows the teeth damaged by acid to remineralize themselves. Regular use of fluoride toothpaste can prevent tooth decay. Communities often have fluoridated water to help with the prevention of tooth decay. If your community doesn’t have one, fluoride supplements can help.
- Watch what they eat Sugary foods can erode the enamel which can cause severe tooth decay; thus it is important that kids limit or best avoid the consumption of sugary food and sugary drinks. If they consume sugary foods, rinse the mouth with water to immediately wash away the sugar.
- Avoid prolonged contact with formula or breast milk Remove the bottle in your child’s mouth when he or she falls asleep so that bacteria won’t accumulate in the mouth and prevent it from producing acids that can damage their teeth and cause baby bottle tooth decay. Clean your child’s teeth immediately after feeding.
- Visit your dental expert to detect early signs of dental caries The American Dental Association say that the first dental visit should occur within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears so that early signs of cavities can be treated as soon as possible. Dental professionals can provide dental sealants at the earliest age possible. Sealants are effective at sealing the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent cavities. More on How to prevent cavities while wearing braces?
- Provide your kids with healthy foods Children need to eat healthy to keep their teeth free from decay and other dental problems. Good nutrition involves all the food groups and making healthy choices that are beneficial for their dental and overall health.
- Watch out for chalky teeth Hypermineralization or chalky teeth is a condition where the tooth contains less mineral thereby making it softer and like “chalk”. Hypermineralization is often characterized by white spots on the teeth. Since the teeth are weaker, it develops tooth sensitivity and has a much higher risk for tooth decay. This condition affects baby teeth and adult molars and can be treated by dental professionals.
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Studies have shown that water fluoridation can reduce the amount of decay in children’s teeth by 18-40%.
- According to National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research 42% of children 2 to 11 have had dental caries in their primary teeth.
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