Teeth with severe decay or cavities are also called ‘rotten teeth’. Tooth decay is very common in children and if not addressed in time can lead to many problems. Let us learn in detail about tooth decay in children.
Bacteria which are normally present in your child’s mouth work on the sugar and carbohydrates that he eats producing acid which attacks teeth. Gradually the acid destroys the tooth structure leading to decay and cavities.
Major causes of dental caries in children:
Poor food choices: frequent consumption of sweet and sticky food like candies, chocolates, pastries, biscuits,and sweet drinks like juices, flavored milk, aerated drinks, sports drinks.
Putting your baby to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup of milk, formula or sweet drink is another cause of tooth decay in toddlers, referred to as ‘baby bottle tooth decay’. As saliva does not flow much during sleep, the drink stays on teeth longer, with a larger amount of acid production by bacteria.
A white band on teeth near the gums during the early stages of decay.
As the decay advances there can be brown, black spots and holes (cavities) and breaking down of teeth
Toothache and sensitivity. Sometimes the pain is severe enough to keep your child up at night.
A bump, swelling, or pimple on the gums indicates serious infection requiring prompt treatment
Importance of preventing tooth decay:
Cavities can lead to pain and infection. Baby teeth, although eventually fall off, are important for your child’s jaw growth, speech, and nutrition. Hence prevention and treatment of rotten baby teeth are important to avoid serious consequences.
Ways to prevent tooth decay in children:
There are simple ways to keep your child’s teeth and gums strong and healthy
Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, or any sweet liquid.
Start brushing your child’s teeth as they erupt, with toothpaste the size of a grain.
After age 3 years, your child should brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste, twice a day and floss regularly.
Limit or avoid sugary, sticky foods like candy, juice, etc. Let your child snack on nutritious food like carrots, apples, yogurt, cheese, etc.
Your child’s first dental visit should be as soon as the first tooth erupts and no later than the first birthday. Schedule her dental exam and teeth cleaning treatment every 6 months for prevention and early diagnosis of dental issues.
At Signature Smiles dental clinic in Mumbai, in addition to our general dentistry services we also cater to your child’s oral health needs. Our Paediatric Dentists, who are dentists specialized in treating children, are experts at preventing tooth decay and early diagnosis of dental issues. So, make an appointment today for your child.