Cavities in Baby Teeth
Every February, the American Dental Association (ADA) puts on National Children’s Dental Health Month. Good oral health is something that needs to happen all year round, though, especially for children. By far, the most common chronic disease children face is dental caries or cavities. Cavities in baby teeth are very common and making your children’s teeth a priority is a necessary part of their overall health. The easiest way to prevent cavities in baby teeth is to brush with a fluoride-based toothpaste twice a day.
How Cavities in Baby Teeth Develop
Cavities form when teeth are frequently exposed to acid through overexposure to excessive sugars and starches. Foods that are packed with sugar attack the teeth and cause mineral loss. Unfortunately, there are many foods out there for children that are full of sugar, predisposing your baby to cavities.
White spots on your child’s teeth are often a sign that dental caries are forming in your child’s mouth. Even though white spots aren’t good signs, they still offer a chance to stop the baby’s cavity in its tracks. Minerals from their saliva along with fluoride can repair the enamel on the tooth. Brushing more regularly and cutting down on sweets are both good ideas if you notice a white spot on your child’s teeth.
If the process of tooth decay does continue, the minerals on your child’s teeth will continue to decay, resulting in a cavity. At this point, the only way to repair a baby’s cavity is to place a filling. Fillings are an important step for cavities in baby teeth because although adult teeth have not yet come in, these cavities can cause irreparable damage to their adult teeth.
Tips To Avoid Cavities in Baby Teeth
Use More Fluoride
– Be sure they drink water from a fluoridated water supply, like tap water rather than bottled water.
– Brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste.
– Use fluoride mouthwash like ACT or Listerine Total.
As a parent, be sure to supervise your children while they brush their teeth. Be sure they do a good job and don’t be afraid to give them the freedom to do it themselves over time, as this will lead to better oral health habits as an adult.
Cut Down on Sugars, Starches
Paying attention to the types of food your child eats is a necessity for any parent, but especially to avoid cavities in baby teeth. Every time sugar or starch is consumed, the mouth responds by producing acid that eats away at teeth enamel, making it likely for cavities to form. Saliva can help in the fight against these acids, but eating and drinking too regularly can also work against the problem.
Regularly Schedule Dental Checkups
Visit your Lincoln dentist with your child at least a few times per year. This will allow you to learn how to educate your kids on good oral health habits and will help you and your child gauge their progress. This also allows dentists to remove any plaque buildup that is happening in your child’s mouth. Further, it’ll continue to encourage your kids that the dental office is not a place to be afraid of, but rather a place to help them stay healthy for years to come.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are significant for many reasons. For one, they encourage the healthy development of the jaw bone, and they reserve the space needed for permanent teeth. They also allow your child to chew food efficiently and assist in speech development. Moreover, they contribute to your child’s positive feelings about his or her appearance and help to build confidence from a young age.
When baby teeth begin to touch each other, add daily flossing to your children’s routine. With adult supervision, most children can brush and floss their own teeth by age four, but we still recommend being a part of their oral hygiene routines at least once a day to continue to reinforce healthy habits.
Consider Using Sealants to Avoid Cavities in Baby Teeth
To take every step possible to prevent cavities in baby teeth, speak with your dentist about sealants. These are coatings made of plastic that is painted over the parts of the teeth children use to chew. The grooves in baby teeth are very deep, often allowing food to fall inside and cause cavities. Using sealants can stop this from happening, avoiding cavities in baby teeth.
If you have any questions or concerns that your child may be developing cavities in their baby teeth, don’t hesitate to give us a call or make an appointment online. We care about your child’s oral health, and we’re happy to discuss how things are going with you.