Tooth Decay during childhood occurs the same way as it would in adults, where bacteria forms and eat away at the outer layer of enamel, the layer that protects your teeth. Sugars and exposed liquid on the gum change to acid from the bacteria formed in the mouth, and the acid dissolves the enamel. This is what causes tooth decay and, in turn, impacting mouth development and growth of adult teeth in children. Therefore, preventing kids tooth decay is important.
It’s recommended that your child adopts a strong oral routine, including regular dentist check-ups. This should begin as soon as the first milk tooth forms. It is also important to remember that decay can begin as soon as the child’s first tooth begins to grow.
The Five Healthy Habits
Preventing kids tooth decay can be performed by adopting the following healthy habits for your child:
Brush and Floss Teeth Twice A Day
Using a soft baby brush, remove and reduce plaque build-up from your child’s gums. Consider using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste for this and gently stroke the brush around the teeth and gums. If milk teeth are visible, start flossing in between the teeth. When children form healthy dental routines, milk teeth will continue to stay healthy and allow for strong tooth development.
Reduce Sugary Treats
Decay is likely to form due to sugar. Sugars used in food and drink builds up bacteria and change to acid. As a parent, when you feed your child at night, avoid a formula that contains sugar. If a formula does contain sugar, clean teeth at night, especially after feeding them.
Replace Fruit Juices With Whole Fruit
Fruit juice may contain traces of fibre through fruit ingredients, but it also contains sugars that decay teeth. When feeding your child, consider using whole fruits and vegetables as a drink that contain no artificial sweeteners. There’s hardly any nutritious value from fruit drinks.
Teach Your Child To Drink From A Regular Cup
When your child hits the age of 12 to 15 months, consider using a regular drinking cup instead of bottles. Frequent bottle-feedings increase the chances of tooth decay.
Encourage Healthy Eating
At an early age, it is important that as part of children’s meals that you encourage healthy eating. Consider striking a balance between nutritious foods and the odd sugary treat. Foods such as vegetables, whole grain and yoghurts are good for milk teeth. These foods guard against plaque, heightening chances of tooth decay.
Preventing kids tooth decay with these steps will be a good start. Food and drink consumed by kids are integral to maintaining strong and healthy teeth and these tips will go a long way in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Any signs of decay require immediate assistance and treatment from the dentist. As an adult, here are some further tips you can adopt to avoid tooth decay.
If you’re seeking support in preventing kids tooth decay, or alternatively, you’re seeking a check-up at your local dentist? Contact us today and we’d be happy to help.