What causes tooth decay in children?
The cause for tooth decay in the children is the same as adults – bacteria.
During the day, a film called plaque develops on your child's teeth. Plaque is filled with bacteria that need something to feed off of, and sugar is their favorite meal. When your child consumes sugary snacks or drinks, the bacteria in plaque start feeding off the sugar and produce acid as a result.
It is the bacteria that start the process, but it is the acid that damages teeth and causes cavities.
There are several ways you can help your child avoid decay:
- Oral hygiene – You need to make sure your child’s mouth is clean and healthy even before baby teeth start to appear. Baby or primary teeth play an important role and need to be protected. Ask your dentist for hygiene instructions depending on your child’s age.
- Healthy diet – Now that you know that sugar is one of the culprits that cause tooth decay, you can make healthier choices about what your child eats and drinks. Choose fruits and vegetables over sugary snacks and read nutrition labels for sugar content when you do buy packaged snacks.
- Routine dental visits – At Dewey Dental, we like to see kids starting around age one or when the first baby tooth appears. You should then plan on dental appointments for your child every six months to stay a step ahead of cavities and get helpful oral health tips from Dr. Bulleigh.
If your child is ready for their first dental checkup, please call us to arrange an appointment. We love working with children, and we look forward to getting to know your child!