Early childhood tooth decay can occur as soon as your child has their very first teeth, and can result in infection and pain if left untreated. The good news is that it is possible to interrupt and even reverse the process of tooth decay. All you need in order to help your child is a bit of information on how tooth decay can happen.
Tooth decay occurs because of an overabundance of harmful bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria, which feeds on sugar, produces acids that can wear away at tooth enamel. If left unchecked and untreated, the acid can cause a permanent tooth cavity. If, however, proper steps are taken, then the enamel can repair itself. Childhood tooth decay can be prevented and even reversed by:- Breastfeeding
Though mother's milk does contain sugar, the Canadian Dental Association notes that breastfed children are far less likely to experience tooth decay than children who drink formula.- Using fluoride
Fluoride helps protect teeth in a number of important ways, so make sure that you are using fluoridated toothpaste and asking a dentist if your child could benefit from other sources of fluoride as well.- Improving your child's diet
You should cut down on your child's intake of sugary snacks and drinks. Limiting between-meal snaking is also important for encouraging the production of saliva, which can help fight acid.- Encouraging good brushing habits
You can begin brushing your child's teeth as soon as they start growing in, and flossing can begin when two teeth touch. Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth until they are about 6 years old in order to ensure that they are doing a thorough job.- Pay regular visits to your Edmonton dentist
Your child should begin seeing the dentist within six months of getting their first tooth. Dentists can remove harmful plaque, check for signs of tooth decay, apply fluoride if needed, and give you additional pointers on keeping your child's teeth healthy and preventing tooth decay.
Azarko Dental Group has a dental clinic in Edmonton that is actively welcoming new patients. Our team of dentists and hygienists can spot the signs of early childhood tooth decay and take the steps to prevent and treat it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at a time that works for you.