Even though your child is very young and just starting to get their baby teeth, they are still at risk of getting cavities. Even though the odds are small, it's a real possibility if you are not careful about what they eat and drink. Thankfully, it is something that you can prevent from happening by knowing more about the issue. Here are some questions you may about tooth decay in young children.
What Is Baby Tooth Decay?
It's possible for your child's teeth to show signs of decay from being constantly exposed to sugars that are in juice, formula, and foods that they regularly consume. It's common for decay to happen to their front teeth. Not only is this because the front teeth are the first ones to come in, but because bottle cause liquids to pass over these teeth frequently. Decay is not limited to front teeth, though, since it can happen to any of the teeth in their mouth.
What Causes Baby Tooth Decay?
A common cause of tooth decay in babies is sugary liquids. Parents may be using their bottle like a pacifier if their child is fussy, or giving a bottle to their child to help them fall asleep at night.
Decay can also be caused by transmitted bacteria to your child. For example, if a parent puts a bottle nipple, pacifier, or toothbrush in their own mouth, bacteria can pass to the child's mouth and cause decay to happen.
Can Baby Tooth Decay Be Prevented?
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can prevent baby tooth decay from occurring. The best way is to do a daily cleaning of their teeth. When you first start to notice that their teeth are coming in, use a toothbrush or damp washcloth to scrub them down. Do this two times a day, using infant toothpaste that is safe for them to swallow.
A common mistake parents make is to give their child the toothbrush and let them move it around on their own. A child cannot do an efficient job at brushing their teeth at such a young age. At most, their teeth will be coated with the infant toothpaste, which will not do much to scrub away bacteria.
You should also avoid giving your child sugary drinks in bottles. If you insist on giving them juice, dilute it by making it half juice and half water.
Ensure that their pacifier is clean of any bacteria, especially before bed when they will be using it for an extended period of time. Clean the pacifier each day using hot water and soap.
For more tips for avoiding tooth decay, speak to a local dentist (such as Robert L. Edmonstone, DDS).