Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in childhood, and healthy dental habits must start early because tooth decay can develop as soon as the first tooth appears.AAP), according to the website. healthychildren“.
Causes of tooth decay in children:
Tooth decay occurs when a child’s mouth becomes infected with acid-producing bacteria. The bacteria are spread by sharing saliva on spoons or cups, testing foods before feeding them to children, and cleaning the pacifier in the parent or caregiver’s mouth..
Tooth decay also develops when a child’s teeth and gums are exposed to any liquid or food other than water for long periods or repeatedly throughout the day. Natural or added sugars in the liquid or food are changed into acid by oral bacteria. This acid then dissolves the outside of the teeth. Which leads to its decay.
The most common way this happens is when parents put their children to bed with a bottle of formula, sugar water, or sugar-sweetened beverages.
Milk should only be offered with meals and not offered throughout the day, nap time, or bedtime. Although extended and frequent breastfeeding alone does not cause tooth decay, all breastfeeding mothers should be aware of oral hygiene and preventive dental care.
Signs of tooth decay in children
Tooth decay may first appear as white spots on the gum line on the upper front teeth, these spots are difficult to see at first, a child with tooth decay needs examination and treatment early to prevent the decay from spreading and to prevent further damage.
How to prevent tooth decay in children
Take the following steps to prevent tooth decay:
Take good care of your oral health even before your baby is born. It is important to visit the dentist for oral care during pregnancy. Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula milk, it is important to take good care of your baby’s teeth.
From birth to 12 months:
Keep your child’s mouth clean by gently wiping the gums with a clean baby towel, as soon as they see the first teeth, clean gently with a soft baby toothbrush and a swab (a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste .
12 to 36 months:
Brush your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes, use a smear of fluoride toothpaste until your child’s third birthday, the best times to brush are after breakfast and before bed.
Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle or food. This not only exposes your baby’s teeth to sugars, but can also put your baby at risk of ear infections and choking..
Do not use the bottle or drinking cup as a straw or let your child roam or drink from it for long periods, if your child wants to insert the bottle or drinking cup between meals, fill it with water only.
Teach your child to drink from a regular cup as soon as possible, preferably at 12 to 15 months of age. Drinking from a cup is unlikely to cause fluid to pool around the teeth.
Limit the amount of sweet or sticky foods your child eats, such as candy, gum, crackers, or fruit rolls. Sugar is found in foods like crackers and chips. These foods are especially bad if your child eats them a lot. They should only be eaten at mealtime. Teach your child to use his tongue to clean food immediately from his teeth.
Serve juice only during meals or not at all, not recommended With juice for children under 6 months of age.