It is important for parents to implement an effective hygiene routine at an early age to protect their child’s developing smile. Childhood oral health plays a significant role in shaping adult smiles. The development of childhood caries can cause many oral health issues that require extensive restorative care in order to preserve oral hygiene.
What Causes Childhood Caries?
Like adult caries, childhood cavities are caused by the colonization of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria produces acid which attack teeth, damaging the enamel and creating cavities. Adults are better able to withstand cavities because their enamel is harder. A child’s teeth and gums are still developing, putting them at risk of extensive infection. If left untreated, the bacteria can travel into the tooth, requiring root canals or the extraction of severely damaged teeth in order to restore health to the dentition.
How Can I Prevent Childhood Caries?
Childhood preventive dental care should always begin at home. Some tips for preventing childhood caries include.
Begin Prevention Early: Your child does not need to have teeth in order to begin cleaning their smile. We recommend cleaning a baby’s gums with a clean gauze or washcloth after feeding can help remove bacteria and begin getting them comfortable with effective oral hygiene habits. Once your child’s first tooth comes in, you can begin using a toothbrush without toothpaste to clean the tooth.
Use Breastmilk, Formula, Or Water: You never want to give children bottles filled with juice or milk. These contain a significant amount of sugar and may increase your child’s likelihood of developing cavities. Saliva production decreases during sleep. Giving your child a bottle with anything other than water before bed can increase their chances of accelerated bacteria production.
Choose Fluoride Toothpastes And Floss: Fluoride decreases cavity development and is safe for children once all of their baby teeth have emerged. We recommend introducing floss as part of a daily oral hygiene. This helps keep children’s smiles clean while getting them in the habit of effective oral hygiene.
Visit The Dentist Regularly: It is recommended that parents bring their child in for a visit as soon as a tooth appears. This first visit provides parents with the opportunity to ask questions about their child’s oral health and learn efficient techniques for at-home oral care.
To schedule your child’s next appointment, contact our office today at 203-487-5577.