As a parent, it is your job to do everything to protect your child’s health, including their teeth. This is to avoid dental health problems like decay, which is one of the most chronic childhood illnesses in the country. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), untreated decay can cause pain and infections and may compromise a child’s eating habit, speech, and learning ability.
All kids are at risk for tooth decay, as they all have bacteria in the mouth. There are, however, certain habits and behaviors that can raise your little one’s risk for the said condition. Here are some of them:
- Poor oral hygiene
- A diet high in sugars, starches, and acids
- Mindless snacking
- Deep grooves and pits
- Has conditions or take medications that can cause dry mouth
Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable.Murray pediatric dentists share some steps to follow:
For kids younger than three years old, only use a small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Your child can then use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste at three years old and beyond. Be sure to supervise the habit until the age of 12 to make sure that kids are cleaning their teeth the right way.
Consider dental sealants.
These are protective coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants cover the grooves of the teeth to keep bacteria, acid, and bits of food from settling on them. Research suggests that sealants can reduce decay risk by nearly 80% in molars.
Eat a balanced diet.
Your little one’s diet should be filled with a variety of healthy choices from different food groups. Be sure to limit sugary and sticky snacks such as candy, cookies, chips, and soda. If your child still uses a bottle before bedtime, only fill in with water; fruit juices and formula milk have sugars that can cause decay.
Visit the dentist.
Kids need to see a pediatric dentist every six months for routine dental cleanings and exams. You can also ask your dentist for other tips in ensuring good oral health for your kids.
Help your child prevent tooth decay with these tips. If you kid has already tooth decay, see the dentist for treatment or fillings.