Children are susceptible to dental decay. When consuming sugary or starchy food, bacteria in the mouth live to use these kinds of foods, which lead to forming acid. Then this acid attacks the tooth/teeth enamel, gradually dissolving the layers of tooth/teeth. This process is called as decaying of tooth/teeth.
Parents should teach children the basics of oral hygiene in their early childhood age. This helps shape good habit patterns and they continue even when they grow up which contributes to their overall health and wellbeing. This article contains some tips for preventing tooth decay in children.
1) Take good care of baby’s teeth
- 0 – 12 months: Keep your baby’s mouth clean by wiping the gums gently with soft cloth. As soon as the first tooth erupts, brush gently with a soft baby toothbrush and water.
- 12 – 24 months: Brush your child’s teeth twice daily. Ask the dentist about the fluoride toothpaste and when using toothpaste for your child, pea size amount of toothpaste should be applied.
2) Make sure that your child never goes to bed with bottle
Never make your child go to bed with a bottle of milk, juice or any sugary drink, as this practice will make your child’s teeth exposed to sugar thus forming cavities. Apart from this, there is also a risk of choking and ear infections.
3) As soon as possible, teach your child to drink milk in regular cup
This habit should be introduced to your child from the age of 12-15 months, as drinking with cup is less likely to cause collecting liquid around the teeth. Moreover, cups cannot be taken to bed.
4) Avoid sugary or sticky food
Do not let your child to eat too much of sweets as it is very bad for the teeth. Avoid sticky food like candies, gummies, fruit rolls and cookies. These foods tend to stay on teeth for long time and there is a greater risk of tooth decay.
5) Check for fluoride in the water
Fluoride, a natural mineral that helps in making teeth healthy and strong is added to drinking water for reducing the risk of tooth decay. Get the sample of sample of drinking water tested for knowing the fluoride content.
If your water does not have enough fluoride, your dentist will prescribe fluoride toothpaste or supplements especially if your child is at high risk of tooth decay.
It is recommended by the dentist that parents should have their kids first dental visit as soon as his/her first tooth erupts in order to ensure good oral health.