Toddler Cavities: The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research said 2 to 11 years old children are among the 42% having teeth cavities. It is because children love sweets. With this, parents must be watchful about their children’s dental health. It is essential to teach children the importance of taking care of their teeth at a young age. Dental check-ups can also help prevent the possibility of developing cavities.
What Causes Tooth Decay in Kids?
You may wonder what causes tooth decay? Many things cause cavities, and the most common are bacteria. Because children love eating carbohydrate-rich foods, they expect that starches and sugars from the foods are left on the teeth. Those were changed into acids through the bacteria inside the mouth. Thus, plaque develops when the bacteria, saliva, acid, and food particles are combined. The acids will damage the tooth enamel and eventually lead to cavities.
Here are some causes of tooth decay in kids:
- Food Habits
Changes in food habits are one culprit in developing tooth decay. As mentioned above, sugary and starchy foods adversely affect the teeth. The teeth are more vulnerable to cavities if the kids eat those foods frequently.
Soft drinks, juices, and flavored milk can also cause cavities. These beverages contain a high level of sugars that can damage the teeth’ enamel, causing them to erode. The bacteria settle on the teeth and strive because of the sugar.
- Poor oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is detrimental to your dental health. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children about oral hygiene at an early age. Aside from avoiding foods and drinks that can cause tooth decay, it is also essential to teach them how to clean their teeth and the entire mouth.
- Deficiency of Fluoride
Fluoride deficiency is one cause of tooth decay. To prevent decay, it is essential to use toothpaste with fluoride or mouth rinse to reverse or prevent possible tooth damage. Bring your child to a family dentist for fluoride treatment if you don’t know how to use fluoride in-home care.
- Bottle use
Bedtime feeding using milk bottles is also harmful to the teeth. The liquid may sit on the teeth for hours, favorable to bacteria.
- Medical Conditions
Another factor that causes tooth decay in kids is medical conditions. A child having chronic allergies most likely breathes through the mouth. It interferes with the flow of saliva, which makes the mouth dry. Thus, the bacteria accumulate on the teeth without the saliva flushing them out.
Prevention of Cavities
After knowing the causes of tooth decay, the next step is to understand how to prevent it. At an early age, a child does not know about it. Through the help of parents, little by little, teach your children about proper oral care to prevent cavities.
- Only give your child a bottle during meals
If your child can’t do without bottle feeding, train him to use the bottle during meals. Encourage your child to drink from a glass or cup to reduce the risk of cavity formation.
- Adopting a healthy balanced diet
A healthy balanced diet can help prevent dental cavities. Avoid sugary and starchy foods. Instead, consume foods that are good for the teeth.
- Take your child to a pediatric dentist
A dental check-up is essential even at an early age. This way, you will immediately know the status of your child’s dental health.
- Schedule routine dental cleanings
After the first visit to a dentist, ask about the schedule for the routine dental cleanings. Educate your child about the importance of regular dental visits.
- Cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft toothbrush
As your child eats, you should also start cleaning the gums using a soft toothbrush.
- Use fluoridated water
If possible, have fluoridated water at home. Use the water for rinsing after toothbrushing.
If ever your toddler has dental cavities, the best thing to do is visit a dentist at the soonest possible time. Several options are available, and the dentist knows which one is best for your child.
- Dental Fillings
If the cavities are beyond the first stage, the dentist may recommend dental fillings. The filling material is filled into the portion where the damaged tooth was removed.
- Tooth Extraction
The dentist may recommend tooth extraction if the cavities seriously affect the teeth. It may be the best solution to prevent affecting the gums.
It is a procedure recommended if the decay is within the tooth’s crown. The pulpal tissue is removed if the pulp chamber becomes inflamed.
Cavities are common in toddlers. That is why parents should know how to prevent the occurrence of such a dental condition. To reduce the risk of cavities, practice some preventive measures.
- Teach your child to brush their teeth at an early age
- Use toothpaste with fluoride
- Practice proper oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the key to avoiding tooth cavities among toddlers. There are many easy ways to prevent cavities. Parents must teach their children the importance of oral hygiene. After all, any concern that may arise should be addressed immediately.