Baby meets baby’s essential. If baby teeth are really lost early, the teeth that are left might move and not leave the room for adult teeth to come in. Besides, if tooth decay is not prevented, it may be costly to treat, cause pain, and lead to life-threatening infections. How to prevent tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the most chronic infectious disease of childhood. Tooth decay can also be called nursing caries orbaby bottle tooth decay.
Healthy dental habits should begin early as tooth decay could develop as soon as the first tooth comes in. Here is some information for parents and caregivers. It is from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about the causes of signs of tooth decay. So, how to prevent tooth decay in young children.
Causes of Tooth Decay in Babies
Tooth decay develops when acid-producing bacteria infect a baby’s mouth. Parents and caregivers could pass bacteria to babies through saliva. For instance, bacteria are spread by sharing saliva on spoons or cups, testing foods before feeding them to babies and cleaning off a pacifier in the caregiver’s mouth.
Tooth decay develops when the child’s teeth and gums are exposed to any liquid or food other than water for long periods or throughout the day. Natural or added sugars in the juice or food are changed to acid by bacteria in the mouth. This acid dissolves the outer part of the teeth, causing them to decay.
The most common way that happens is when parents put their children to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice, soft drinks, sugar water, or sugared drinks. It could also occur when children are allowed to continually drink anything other than water from a sippy cup during the day or night. Milk needs to be served with meals and is not offered throughout the day, at nap time, or bedtime. Though extended and frequent breastfeeding alone does not cause tooth decay. All breastfeeding mothers should be aware of and follow oral hygiene, fluoride, precautionary dental care, and healthy diet recommendations.
Signs of Tooth Decay in Babies
Tooth decay may first appear as white spots at the gum line on the upper front teeth. The places are hard to see at first—even for a child’s doctor —without proper equipment. A child with tooth decay can be examined and treated early to stop the decline from spreading and to prevent further damage.
Don’t wait to visit the dentist
Most kids need a dental checkup and cleaning every six months, and they should start early. This is a useful way to prevent tooth decay. The first visit establishes your children’s dental “home,” and builds an ongoing relationship between the dentist and your family. It allows the dentist to guide parents on healthy dental habits and cavity prevention. Also, regular checkups keep early decay from turning into deep, painful cavities that require complicated procedures to treat.
Avoid sharing spoons
Even though before teeth emerge, cavity-causing bacteria called Streptococcus mutants can colonize the furrows of a baby’s tongue. And, saliva-sharing behaviors can spread the bacteria from your mouth to your child’s. That’s why it’s essential for parents to take care of their teeth, to minimize the transmission of harmful bacteria. Gently wiping your child’s gums with gauze or a soft washcloth after feedings could help remove bacteria, get him accustomed to having your finger—and later a toothbrush—in his mouth.
Use the right toothpaste
There is no need to buy non-fluoridated “training toothpaste” for your little one: ADA guidelines recommend that parents should use fluoride toothpaste as soon as a baby gets his first tooth. Fluoride toothpaste may help remineralize areas of teeth that have been made weaker and susceptible to decay by bacterial acids. This new guideline means you don’t need to worry if your town’s water supply is not fluoridated. He recommends giving kids ages three and under a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice, and then graduating to a pea-sized dollop for kids ages 4 to 6. And do not think twice about buying bubblegum-flavored or glittery toothpaste: “Children’s toothpaste has the same amount of fluoride—900 parts per million—as the adult kind, but the fun flavors and colors mean kids will be likely to stick with a brushing routine.”
Give plaque the brush-off
When your child gets his first tooth, brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily for about 2 minutes or as needed to remove plaque from each tooth. “Parents need to be in charge of brushing—meaning doing the actual brushing—until at least age 6,” says Dr. Segura. “After that, kids could be allowed to brush themselves, but parents should check the teeth for plaque afterward.” Also, flossing is necessary to reach the spaces between teeth and could be done as soon as your children have two teeth touching each other.
Because bacteria feed on sugar and produce acid waste, which erodes the tooth to create a cavity. So, one of the best ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy is to limit his intake of sugary foods and drinks. Diet is a significant factor in preventing decay. Soda, sticky candy, and other sweets increase rise even gummy vitamins are usually full of sugar. The frequency of snacking matters: Grazing all day creates a constant supply of sugar and acid in the mouth. So, you should limit sugary snacks and drinks to mealtimes and brushing soon after eating. Crunchy fresh fruits and veggies like carrots, apples, and celery are better options because they help scrub plaque from teeth as you eat.
Teach children to brush and floss every day
You should clean your baby’s gums with a soft baby brush or clean, damp face cloth to remove plaque before the teeth come in when your child’s primary teeth come in, clean teeth with a soft toothbrush. And use a minimal amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child is age three years, it is okay to start to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Start flossing your child’s teeth when they have teeth that touch each other. You can see the topicBrushing and Flossing a Child’s Teeth.
Provide your older baby or toddler with healthy foods
Should give your childnutritious foodsor combine them in ways that help reduce the risk for tooth decay. For instance, offer meals that include whole vegetables, grains, and fruits. Mozzarella and other yogurts, and cheeses, milk is good for teeth and make great after-meal snacks. They could help clear the mouth of harmful sugars and protect againstplaque. You make an effort to rinse or brush your child’s teeth after he or she eat high-sugar foods, especially sweet foods like raisins.
You should let them drink plenty of water and avoid foods that reduce salivation. If your child often have dry mouth, the doctor may prescribe a saliva-stimulating drug.
As a way to encourage achievement when your child wants to brush their teeth every day, you can reward them.
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