Cavities in toddlers can create serious problems, and are one of the rising occurrences in today’s dentistry. Decay in young children can lead to major issues with the permanent teeth, including severe misalignment and impacted teeth. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your child from experiencing extensive tooth decay.
Causes of Tooth Decay in Toddlers
[pullquote]Tooth decay in toddlers often occurs due to excessive consumption of sugary drinks.[/pullquote]
Tooth decay in toddlers often occurs due to excessive consumption of sugary drinks. This includes sodas, artificially flavored fruit drinks, and even pure fruit juices. Any of these liquids can lead to decay and a trip to the dentist if the teeth are exposed to them over long periods.
Sugary foods and snacks are also common culprits for tooth decay. If your child eats candy, cake, cookies, or other sweets on a regular basis, the risk of decay is much higher compared to healthier snacks such as fruits or vegetables.
Preventing Tooth Decay in Toddlers
If your toddler still uses a bottle, even if only occasionally, avoid letting them fall asleep with it if it contains anything other than water. This is one of the leading causes of severe decay in young children. The extended exposure to the sugary juice allows bacteria to build up in the mouth. The bacteria consume the sugar and produce acidic waste products that eat through the enamel of your child’s teeth.
If your child is not old enough to brush their own teeth, you should assist them for the best care possible. Caring for their teeth can begin during infancy, in fact, if you use soft gauze to clean your baby’s gums. This reduces the amount of bacteria in your child’s mouth and also gets them used to cleaning their mouth after meals.
Use a small amount of toothpaste—no larger than a pea—to keep your child from swallowing too much fluoride. Teach them to brush thoroughly and consistently, so that when they are responsible for their own dental hygiene, it will already be an established routine.
For more information on how to care for your child’s teeth, contact the office of Dr. Nicholas Kemp, serving Yorkville and surrounding areas, today to schedule an informative consultation.