Children's Dental care
Alpharetta, GA – Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood disease. We hope we were exaggerating, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the problem is widespread.
Tooth decay is present in 45.8% of children aged 2-19. Such problems lead to additional complications such as cavities. Cavities are five times more common than asthma.
We want to make sure we help parents protect their child’s smile, and that means we have to do everything we can to promote good dental hygiene. Dental caries are a real problem, and we want to share as much information as we can with parents to prevent such problems.
While you may think that cavities in children’s teeth result from poor dental hygiene, that is only partially true. Let’s review how we can prevent cavities in children.
“Dental caries is tooth decay that is caused by the spread of specific germs,” says Alpharetta pediatric dentist Dr. Nanna Ariaban.
The Rise of Tooth Decay
It is estimated that as many as 4 million preschools suffer from childhood dental caries. Unfortunately, children tend to have diets higher in sugars.
Tooth decay begins when bacteria feed on sugar, so it’s not surprising that many children suffer from decay.
This situation usually results from bacteria called mutans streptococcus; it begins to feed on the sugars left in a child’s mouth after a meal. Leftover food particles and traces of sugary beverages contain sugars. As it feeds, bacteria produce an acid that erodes the tooth’s enamel layer, leading to decay and cavities.
Why You Should Be Worried About Cavities in Children’s Teeth
As decay sets in and the protective layers of your child’s teeth erode, their dental health could deteriorate. These cavities let more bacteria and other harmful agents enter the tooth’s inner soft tissues.
Once there, your child’s tooth suffers an infection that produces much pain. Likewise, the periodontal tissues at the base of the tooth can start to degrade.
The result? If the infection remains unchecked, it can also enter the child’s bloodstream and spread to other parts of their body. Similarly, this situation can lead to premature tooth loss.
Children’s teeth are already more susceptible to the damaging effects of tooth decay; the enamel around primary teeth is not as resilient or strong as the one covering permanent teeth.
When a child loses a primary tooth before the permanent ones erupt, they can develop orthodontic problems, speech impairments, and suffer from social development complications.
Do everything in your power to avoid tooth decay and dental caries in children’s teeth.
How a Kid’s Dentist in Alpharetta Prevent Cavities in Children’s Teeth
We will always remind people of the power of a good oral hygiene routine, but as we mentioned before, there’s more to this than brushing your child’s teeth.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), parents should consider taking their children from a dental check-up sooner than most expect. It is important to take your infant to the pediatric dentist by 1 year of age. Schedule regular check-ups for your children. Your child should see the dentist by his first birthday, or after the first tooth appears, and then every 6 months after.
Help your child carefully and effectively brush their teeth. Teach them how to use dental floss correctly, and show them the importance of taking care of your smile through your example. Be a model of oral health to your children.
Professional services in an appropriate environment like our practice can help the child develop an appreciation for their dental hygiene and health from a young age.
Speaking of professional services, monitor your child’s fluoride intake. The right amount of fluoride is necessary to ensure strong, healthy teeth. Too much or too little can be damaging. If you have questions about the amount of fluoride that is right for your child, ask Dr. Nanna.
Parents should avoid using fluoride toothpaste before the child learns how to spit. You could wait until your child is 2 years old or avoid using too much fluoride toothpaste when their teeth start to come in.
You could come to our office for a professional application of fluoride. After all, professional fluoride treatments deliver powerful cavity protection for young patients and adults alike.
Your Child’s Diet Can Also Lead to Decay and Cavities
Just say no to juices, sports drinks, and sodas. Encourage your children to drink water. Try limiting juice and other sugary beverages to mealtimes when there will be sufficient saliva to wash away the sugars.
You can also try limiting chewy or sticky foods during dinner to minimize the risk of kids forgetting to brush their teeth before bedtime and having leftover food particles in their mouths.
Swap your child’s snacks for healthier items. Don’t let them eat sugary snacks without any supervision.
Never let your child go to bed with a bottle, and always wipe your baby’s mouth after breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Can bottle-feeding lead to tooth decay? Click here to find out more.
Can You Spread Dental Cavities in Children?
Think twice before you share a spoon or straw with your child – you could be infecting their tiny mouth with bacteria in your mouth. And if you have cavities yourself, you are more likely to have the bacteria living in your mouth.
“Try to avoid sharing utensils with your child, and never let him or her use your toothbrush,” says Dr. Nanna. “Once your child has their first cavity, the mouth will be more prone to additional cavities because the bacteria will have colonized. And if you have a history of tooth decay, it’s crucial to pay extra close attention to your child’s teeth.”
Try to do everything you can to stop cavities from spreading to your kid.
Get Help From the Best Children’s Dentist Alpharetta Has Available
A healthy smile leads to a healthy life. Tooth decay and other oral diseases, such as gum disease, are linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Help your children care for their teeth today, and you can help them stay healthy in the future.
The team at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry will be thrilled to help you and your child achieve the healthiest versions possible of their smile. Make sure you get in touch with us over the phone or set an appointment online.
That’s right, your Alpharetta kid’s dentist is at the ready to help you out with everything you need to ensure your kid’s optimal dental health.