Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic illnesses among children, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Almost half (42%) of children between the ages of 2 to 11 develop cavities in their baby teeth. Cavities are a form of tooth decay.
Tooth decay destroys the enamel of the teeth. Additionally, tooth decay can advance to the inner portions of the tooth, which houses the connective tissue and nerves.
Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable. While cavities are relatively common in children, there are ways to prevent them. In fact, prevention is the best way to combat the harmful side effects of cavities and tooth decay. The impacts of cavities can carry well into adulthood.
Children’s oral health is incredibly important. Unfortunately, many people think that because children’s teeth are not permanent, their oral health is not essential.
However, oral health in childhood mirrors oral health in adulthood. This means that if a child has poor oral health, they are likely to have poor oral health as an adult. This is one of the many reasons why you should take children’s oral health seriously.
How to Keep Their Teeth Healthy
Children’s childhood habits are more likely to carry over into adulthood. So if you teach your child proper oral health, it can have benefits that last a lifetime.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Dentists recommend that children (and adults) brush their teeth at least twice a day or after meals. Brushing removes harmful plaque and bacteria from teeth that will eventually form tooth decay. Additionally, flossing is a vital part of oral hygiene. Flossing allows you to remove plaque from between your teeth. However, brushing alone is not enough to remove plaque, which is why dentists recommend flossing.
Part of a good oral health routine is visiting the dentist. The earlier you can bring your child to the dentist, the better. In fact, dentists suggest bringing your child for their first dental exam around their 1st birthday or when their first tooth erupts through the gums.
Your dentist can see if your child needs future dental care or procedures. In addition, going to the dentist early in life will help if your child develops any conditions that require treatment.
In addition, exposure to a dentist’s office can help remove fear or anxiety. If a child already goes to the dentist regularly, it is less likely to be a problem for you, your child, or the dentist.
If you are worried about your child developing cavities, you can start with the foods they consume. Diets that are high in sugar or acids can increase the risk of tooth decay. In addition, limiting sugary foods or drinks, such as sodas or sports drinks, can go a long way in avoiding cavities.
Also, you can introduce healthier snacks that are actually good for their teeth and overall health. Foods, such as carrots, celery, apples, etc., help to remove plaque buildup and have less sugar. Of course, children should be allowed to consume sugar. However, everything needs to be eaten in moderation.