Tooth decay occurs when the enamel breaks down. All children are at risk of tooth decay and there are many contributing factors that lead to it. Children at a very young age are not in a position to fully understand decay and distinguish the good food and drink from the bad. This comes in time through parent education and regular dental check-ups.
Educating children on dentistry, in general, is always important. Children do not want to be suffering from tooth decay at a very young age as this can significantly harm the growth of adult teeth and their oral health in general. They will eventually grow damaged and unhealthy teeth that may require extensive and expensive treatment to save them.
It is important that you’re aware of the causes of tooth decay in milk teeth and what this entails. Understanding this will help you as the parent to start setting boundaries of healthy food and drink, and to educate your child on why looking after their teeth is important.
How Can Tooth Decay Develop?
Tooth decay may be different for every child, but that along with cavities can develop from:
- High-risk levels of bacteria from food particles leading to a cavity
- A diet of sugary treats and sodas
- A lack of water and calcium-rich foods that keep teeth strong
- A poor oral hygiene routine
- A lack of saliva flow
Bacteria is a sticky substance called plaque that eats away at the tooth enamel. Acids can also form from bacteria that can cause holes (cavities) and damage (decay) in the tooth.
It is never too late to start changing your children’s habits whilst upholding a positive oral health routine.
Book A Dental Check-Up
A good first step is for you as the parent is to book a dental check-up at the dentist. It is always suggested that when the first tooth appears through the gum, a check-up is necessary to monitor its health. If you haven’t booked a check-up at the dentist, do so now.
Children need time to become accustomed to something new. Therefore, book an appointment at least two weeks in advance.
Educating Them On Oral Health
Within these two weeks, start building up your kid’s education on healthy teeth. In a soft tone, talk to them about oral health and become a role model to help them look after their teeth. Ultimately, children follow the parent’s lead, and setting up a regular oral routine of brushing teeth twice a day and keeping the mouth clean is a good step.
The final thing is to change the food and drink your children consume. Children are always looking to eat their favourite snacks and sweets. However, they’re not aware of the damage it causes to their teeth. Therefore, start incorporating calcium-rich foods into their diet whilst limiting the sugary treats. Don’t do this immediately, but through educating them about healthy teeth, children will slowly understand why too many sugary treats lead to tooth decay.
If you’re unsure on the process of tooth decay, click here to learn how it damages teeth. When teeth decay, the dentist may consider root canal treatment. This is dependent on the amount of damage the decay has done to the tooth. Read here to learn more about root canal treatment for children.