Preventing tooth decay in your children

Tooth decay is a very important topic, especially when it comes to children. Many parents start asking the same questions when the first tooth of their kid comes in. When should the first visit to the dentist clinic be scheduled? At what age should we start flossing? What healthy habits should parents develop in their children?

First dental health care

Actually dental health care should start before your kid has its first tooth. Mouth hygiene implies wiping baby’s gums every day with a gauze pad or a washcloth dipped in water. You can start brushing right after the first tooth appear, using special baby toothbrush and toothpaste (just a little bit! Read the recommendations on the toothpaste package). After your kid turns 2 — you may use pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste up to the school age.

Preventing tooth decay in your children - photo 1
Photo 1. Baby tooth decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay

Keep in mind there is a baby bottle tooth decay — a disease that occurs in the early childhood because of some factors, mostly because of neglected dental hygiene and regular intake of sugar-containing liquids before the bedtime. It happens when the sugar coats the teeth for a long time. Sugars from sweet drinks or milk covers the upper front teeth and bacteria produces acids that destroy the tooth enamel. In severe cases it may lead to serious infections and even teeth problems in permanent teeth.

Baby bottle tooth decay may appear very early, but it is usually left unnoticed until the kid turns 1 year.

The first signs of baby bottle tooth decay

Examine your child’s teeth regularly and go to the dentist if you notice white spots on the tooth enamel. Keep in mind that upper front teeth are most vulnerable to enamel decay.

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Photo 2. Visit dentist.

Therefore don’t let your baby drink anything except for water before going to bed and set specific schedule for drinking sugar-containing from the bottle instead of letting your child drink anytime.

After the first tooth comes in, you may think of appointing your kid’s first visit to the pediatric dentist for a checkup.

Baby tooth decay treatment

In case your kid has a baby bottle tooth decay — its treatment usually requires general anesthesia. If the tooth decay is not severe — the tooth can be saved and repaired, but in extreme cases it has to be extracted. Leaving early childhood tooth decay without attention is dangerous as it may lead to pain and infections. However, extracted tooth may lead to problems with chewing, esthetic problems and possible unpleasant consequences with permanent teeth. They may get crooked or too crowded as baby teeth are there to save the place, and whey they are extracted — it may lead to such problems.

You can prevent baby bottle tooth decay using the following tips:

  1. Don't let your baby sleep with a bottle in his mouth and don’t let it drink any sweet liquids in the middle of the night. Feed the baby before bringing it to bed and wipe the gums with the gauze pad dipped in water to remove sugars.
  2. Don't allow your infant to think that the bottle is available 24h, it will be very difficult to get it back. Develop a habit of having a bottle only during mealtimes.
  3. Try to get your child used to drinking from the cup as early as possible, do it gradually.
  4. A habit of sipping from the bottle can be stopped by giving a bottle with water only. Water is safe for tooth and gums and your child is not likely to stick to it too long.

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Photo 3. The cause of baby bottle tooth decay.

Baby tooth decay prevention

When your child grows up a little bit, develop some other healthy habits:

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Photo 4. Children's oral hygiene.

Video: Baby Bottle Decay

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