Oral health is a vital component of a healthy body, and starting a child off on the right track helps build a foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits. Dental hygiene should begin as soon as the first tooth appears, and children should see their kids’ dentist in Flower Mound by their first birthday.
Do parents really need to be concerned about their infant’s teeth? They’re brand new, and they are just going to fall out in a few years anyway, right? New parents often don’t realize that teeth are candidates for decay as soon as they appear. In fact, tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood disease. Our practice has seen cavities in infants that are less than twelve months old. In fact, more than half of children will have experience tooth decay before age five.
Primary teeth play a big role in development, even though they’re just around for a few years. In addition to the important role of breaking down food, they are important to jaw and bone development. Teeth affected by tooth decay can be sensitive, causing children to avoid healthy foods. Missing teeth can disrupt the jawbone, impeding speech and causing overbites that may require orthodontic intervention later.
Keeping children healthy means keeping their gums and teeth healthy too. The mouth is filled with bacteria that will thrive when mixed with sugar and time. The result is a little mouth that is affected by tooth decay, gum disease, or infection.
Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable.
“Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile”
5 Quick Tips for Cavity Prevention in Children
1. Monkey See, Monkey Do
Children may not appreciate the importance of dental hygiene until it’s far too late. One of the best ways to ensure healthy habits is to demonstrate them yourself. We recommend nighttime brushing with your children to model technique and consistency.
2. Regular Cleanings and Checkups
Regular visits to your kids’ dentist in Flower Mound will help us catch minor problems before they become big (and expensive) problems. Prevention is a great investment! For every dollar spent on preventive care (cleanings, checkups, etc), up to $50 is saved on restorative dental work.
3. Fluoride Toothpaste
When buying toothpaste for your children, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Toothpaste with that logo tell you that they contain cavity-preventing fluoride. Kids can still find selections that have their favorite characters on them, and parents can be confident that their fluoride toothpaste will do the job.
4. No Time for Sugar
The key question for teeth isn’t how much sugar was ingested, but how long were teeth exposed to it? Some habits that might seek OK to parents can actually pose a significant risk. Snacking throughout the day and drinking milk or juice at night can lead to prolonged sugar exposure.
5. What’s in Baby’s Bottle?
When we see Early Childhood Caries (cavities in infants), it’s usually a result of a bottle filled with milk or juice being given to babies when sleeping. Quench nighttime thirst with water instead, and remember that even toddlers need their teeth cleaned every day.
Dr. Duffy is THE Kids Dentist
Treating cavities is great; preventing them is even better. You can set your child up for a lifetime of success by modeling the habits that you want them to adopt. If you have any questions about what to do in your child’s particular case, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you figure it out.