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Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

Sep 11, 2014 - 08:09 AM EST |  Posted under: General, Pediatric Dentistry

Healthy baby teeth ensure that your child can chew food and speak properly; they also act as placeholders for permanent teeth. According to pediatric dentists, early tooth decay in children most often affects the upper and lower front teeth. If these incisors are lost due to unchecked tooth decay, your child’s overall oral health can be at risk, so cavity prevention is of the utmost importance.

What Causes Early Tooth Decay?

When your child consumes foods and beverages with high sugar or starch content, the sugar feeds oral bacteria. When the bacteria produce acids that attack the surfaces of teeth, cavities develop. Although it’s tempting to blame sugary snacks, many of the liquids your child sips throughout the day such as milk, formula, and natural juices contain sugars. If you let your child walk around with a sippy cup or sleep with a bottle, their teeth are exposed to sugar for longer periods of time, and this can accelerate tooth decay.

Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

Preventing tooth decay in children starts with monitoring their diets. Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid giving bottles or sippy cups filled with soft drinks, punch, or juice.
  • Don’t dip pacifiers in honey or syrup, and avoid prolonged use.
  • Put your child to bed with a bottle of plain water only.
  • Attempt to stop bottle use by the age of 12 to 14 months.
  • Limit daily juice consumption to six ounces during mealtimes.

Cavity Prevention Through Good Oral Care

Pediatric dentists recommend wiping your baby’s gums with a clean cloth after each feeding and starting a brushing routine as soon as your child has teeth. When all primary teeth have erupted, add flossing to the routine. Begin scheduling routine dental visits by the age of two.

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“The last time my son had seen a dentist was about three years ago because he refused to go to another one until now due to bad experiences. We got lucky picking Main Street Dental! I was so impressed with the office. The office is very opened and parents are welcomed back with the children. I absolutely loved our dental assistant.. She was very informative and explained everything to my son before she did anything. She was amazingly patient and kind the entire visit. She took xray and cleaned his teeth and explained to him what the dentist Dr. B would be doing. She stayed with us the entire time even while the dentist was in the room. The dentist was also very informative and nice and answered any questions I had. They also explained how my son’s next visit was going to be (he has to get fillings). The entire visit was only an hour long. Huge thumbs up to Main Street Dental of Cape Coral! I have been and will gladly still recommend them for pediatric dentistry!!!!!”

– Chelsea M.