Dental Caries Are Number One Childhood Disease

cartoon character with a tooth ache

Alpharetta, GA – When you think of chronic childhood illness, does tooth decay come to mind? Probably not, but tooth decay is, in fact, the number one chronic childhood illness. And if left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences.

Childhood dental caries are five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to difficulty eating, bacterial infections, difficulty speaking and can even cause cognitive and social development delays. And if left to continue on into later life, dental issues, such as periodontal disease, can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.

The good news, however, is that tooth decay is preventable.

“Children who are exposed to sugary liquids, including juice, breastmilk, formula, and milk, for long periods of time are more at risk for developing early childhood caries,” says Dr. Nanna Ariaban, an Alpharetta pediatric dentist. “Decay can begin as early as the teeth erupting, and if not caught early on, it can progress rapidly. This is why it is so important to begin a relationship with a dentist as early as when the first teeth erupt, or by the age of one.”

Fifty percent of all children have never visited a dentist, and children between the ages of two and five who have not visited a dentist within the last year are more likely to have decay in their primary teeth.

So how can you prevent your child from developing childhood caries?


  • Visit a pediatric dentist by the child’s first birthday.
  • Wipe the baby’s mouth with a washcloth after each feeding.
  • Begin brushing twice daily as soon as the first tooth erupts.
  • Never let your infant go to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup of juice, milk, formula or breastmilk.

Toddlers and young children:

  • Transition your child from a bottle to a cup as soon as possible.
  • Only put water in sippy cups, and avoid giving children any drink other than water except at meal times.
  • Parents should supervise tooth brushing until the child can properly brush on his or her own.
  • Children should floss every day.
  • Help your children by encouraging healthy eating habits.

If your child has not yet visited a pediatric dentist, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Our Roswell Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Nanna today. Childhood caries can be prevented, and with help from a dental expert, you can create healthy dental habits that ensure his or her dental health in the future.

© 2018 Polkadot Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Polkadot Dental, a Johns Creek pediatric dentist, is credited as sole source.