Three Common Causes of Child Tooth Decay

Cavities can happen in children of any age!

It is important that you pay attention to the health of even your child’s first set of teeth!
Tooth decay affects people of all ages, from seniors to children. Even toddlers can experience decay in their baby teeth, which is often a shocking discovery for their parents. Though the signs of deterioration should be a cause for concern, they can be prevented if you know what to look for and instill good oral health habits early on.

Keep reading to discover the three factors a parent can control, that can lead to tooth decay in children.

It is important for parents to pay attention to a child’s teeth as soon as they break through the gums! While there are many factors beyond a parent’s control that can affect a child’s teeth, early detection of any issues can prevent pain and other issues.

Sugary Drinks
Sugar (and more specifically, sugary beverages) is one of the biggest leading causes of tooth decay in people of all ages. However, sugary drinks pose an especially troubling problem for toddlers because of bottles and sippy cups. Though these cups may be convenient, many parents leave them with their children nearly all the time. And while this may seem like an excellent method of pacifying an active toddler, it also opens them to harmful sugar for long periods. Mouths dry out while sleeping, which means anything your child ingests before bedtime will be more likely to stick to their teeth, and their chances of developing decay increase. This phenomenon is also known as bottle rot. To avoid overexposing your child’s teeth to sugar, fill their bottles and sippy cups with water or milk. Also, try not to give them a bottle when putting them down to sleep. If you do need to provide them with a bottle before a nap or bedtime, make sure it is full of water, not juice.

Sharing Saliva
Eating and drinking sugar isn’t the only way tooth decay can form. The bacteria that initiates tooth decay can also be passed along through saliva. If you or anyone who comes in contact with your child has these bacteria, they can easily be transmitted to your baby. This can happen by sharing utensils, drinking from the same cup, or using your mouth to clean off a baby’s pacifier. To avoid spreading bacteria, refrain from doing the activities mentioned above or anything else that involves passing saliva from your mouth to theirs. Additionally, try to stop your child from sucking on or putting objects that are not designed for teething purposes in their mouth. You never know where those items have been or if any other children have gotten their saliva on them recently.

Improper Oral Health Care
The best way to avoid tooth decay is by instilling good oral health habits early on in life. Implement a regular cleaning routine starting at a young age. Even before their first tooth grows in, clean the infant’s gums with a washcloth after they eat. Once their first tooth appears, you can begin gently brushing their teeth with a baby toothbrush and water. You should also schedule their first appointment for family dental care in Carmichael, CA, within six months of their first tooth appearing. Once your toddler turns two years old, you can start brushing their teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste. By instilling oral health values early, you can create habits that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

If you believe your child is showing the signs of tooth decay or you want to schedule a dental appointment, contact us at Now Dental today!

Your Child’s Smile Starts with Healthy Teeth

Your Child's Smile Starts with Healthy Teeth

It is never to early to start healthy dental habits for children!

Now Dental – Carmichael, California Family Friendly Dentistry

It’s never too early to start teaching your child about oral hygiene. Developing basic skills like proper brushing and flossing techniques is one of the easiest ways to ensure they have a healthy smile throughout their lives. Other practices like sugar avoidance and routine dental exams also can preserve your child’s pearly whites while helping them build the foundations of a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to forming healthy tooth care habits for your children, here are some professional tips from the experts at Now Dental.

Once a child’s first set of teeth present, so can tooth decay!

Your child’s first tooth usually appears around 6 months of age. Even infants are susceptible to tooth decay, specifically a condition called baby bottle tooth decay. It’s caused by overuse of bottles or pacifiers as well as the consumption of sugary drinks. Developing habits for a healthy smile should start as soon as the first tooth appears. Gently brush your baby’s teeth twice a day—once in the morning and once before bed—with a pea-sized drop of toothpaste on a gentle toothbrush. Try to make the experience fun by making them laugh and brushing their teeth between giggles. Help them learn proper brushing techniques by letting them brush your teeth when they’re older. Children learn best by mimicking the actions of others, especially when you can turn it into a game.

Just say “NO” to sugar!

Developing good eating habits at an early age is another way to protect your child’s smile. Cavities are the result of poor brushing techniques and consuming sugary foods and drinks. As a general rule, sugary drinks like soda and juice should be avoided in the first year. Candy and ice cream are nice on special occasions but make sure your child brushes their teeth immediately after their sweet treat. As they transition from formula and baby food to solids, encourage them to eat foods that are high in calcium and potassium like cheese, nuts, milk, and chicken. Firm fruits like apples and pears are also good because they help remove food building between the teeth while giving your child a naturally sweet treat.

Even baby teeth need proper care from a dentist!

Even though baby teeth are temporary, you should still schedule your first visit to the dentist as soon as they appear. Early exposure to the dentist is key to helping your child become accustomed to routine dental procedures. Some children develop a fear of the dentist because of a bad experience at the office or they pick up on their parent’s aversion to dental work. If you have a fear of the dentist, try not to let it show or ask another family member the child is familiar with to take them. Most dentists recommend morning appointments for small children because that’s when they’re rested and generally more cooperative. Some dentists are specially trained to handle small children and will use a variety of techniques to help them stay calm during their checkup.

Now Dental of Carmichael is your local Kid-Friendly Dentist

The professionals at Now Dental specialize in pediatric dentistry as well as family and cosmetic dentistry. They treat all patients, both young and old, with a stellar reputation for high-quality services in Northern California. At Now Dental, Dr. Elizabeth Huynh and her staff strive to provide a thorough and comfortable dental experience for you and your family. When it’s time to celebrate your child’s first tooth, schedule their first visit at Now Dental and have peace of mind concerning your child’s future smile. To learn more about our practice, visit us online at http://www.nowdentalonline.com, then call (916) 966-2009 to schedule an appointment.