There are many reasons why your child might have tooth decay. For babies and toddlers, despite their still-growing teeth, are still highly susceptible to cavities. Thankfully, you can prevent tooth decay in your children with a strong dental care regime that incorporates at-home care and regular check-ups at the dentist. Below are a few ways you can prevent tooth decay in your children:
You should never let your child go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup full of juice or milk. For babies, going to bed with a milk bottle can lead to a fairly common form of tooth decay known as “baby bottle tooth decay,” in which the milk residue sits in your baby’s mouth overnight, causing bacteria to form. As well, the sugars from a juice can have a similar effect. You should also prevent your child from taking snacks to bed as this can also cause bacteria to build up over night. The best drink to give your child before bed is water.
Even if your child’s teeth are still growing, it’s still important to brush and floss their teeth daily. For babies, you should opt for a very soft-bristled, small toothbrush that can easily fit inside your baby’s mouth and won’t irritate their gums. It’s recommended to brush your child’s teeth twice a day, at morning and night, and after eating sugary candy or other treats.
If your child is already experiencing tooth decay, there are some steps you’ll need to take to help resolve the problem. Left untreated, cavities can lead to infection and toothaches. If your child has a cavity, you’ll need to take them to see a dentist. Typically, the cavity will just need to be filled. Depending on the severity of the decay, the tooth might need to be removed to prevent the adult teeth from also becoming infected.
It’s important for children to have a positive experience at the dentist so that they don’t become fearful of check-ups. Look for a dentist who is experienced in children’s oral care, and is committed to creating a welcoming environment for your child.
Cavities and tooth decay are common, especially in children, however with daily brushing, flossing and a healthy diet, they are easily preventable. Keeping these tips in mind will help your child to maintain their oral hygiene routine into adulthood, meaning they’ll always have a bright smile.