Preventing Tooth Decay and Other Dental Diseases
Tooth decay doesn't discriminate by age. It can affect adults, teens and even your infant or toddler. As parents, it's our role to set our children on the path of good oral health. Cavity prevention is a vital part of that.
When food remains on the teeth, it is consumed by bacteria that are naturally present in the mouth. These bacteria convert the food into acid, ultimately contributing to the production of plaque, a sticky substance that clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque will harm the enamel of the tooth, creating cavities.
Tooth decay is a serious problem and can ultimately lead to infection, pain and loss of teeth. A few simple steps you can take to prevent tooth decay in your child include:
- Never put your baby to sleep with a bottle containing anything except water - Putting your child to sleep with a bottle containing juice or milk is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to early childhood cavities.
- Start early teaching good brushing habits - When the teeth first begin to erupt in your child's mouth, it's time to start brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush.
- Supervise independent brushing - As children become familiar with brushing, they often want to do it themselves. This is okay, but until they're at least five, make sure their teeth are indeed clean and that they are not swallowing any toothpaste.