According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 42% of children aged 2-11 years old have caries (cavities) on their teeth. This is primarily caused by bottle feeding babies and/or toddlers sugary drinks such as juice, milk, formula, and other sugary drinks. Drinks with a high content of sugar have the tendency to stick to the tooth which turns into an acid which creates holes in the tooth. There are several ways to prevent tooth decay earlier:
- Start diluting the drinks consumed by the baby or toddler. Water should be added to dilute any sugary drinks. Every time your child drinks, add more water until he is eventually only drinking water.
- If your child is a baby, do not allow them to sleep with their bottle in their mouth, and be sure to wipe their gums after every feeding with either a wash cloth or a finger toothbrush. This is important because when a baby or child goes to sleep, the process of swallowing saliva slows down so the bacteria stays in the mouth for a longer period of time causing tooth decay.
- Teach your children how to brush their teeth from an early age. Use soft toothbrushes starting from the time they grow their first tooth. As well, start flossing their teeth when
- Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste. A popular toothpaste is the Sensodyne Pronamel kids toothpaste which contains fluoride. But for kids that are not able to wash the toothpaste from their teeth, then the X-Pur Caries toothpaste for kids is the best option since it does not contain fluoride. Fluoride is important because the minerals in fluoride strengthens your enamels. It also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria on the tooth.
- Encourage drinking tap water instead of bottled water. Tap water contains a healthy amount of fluoride which strengthens their teeth.
- Maintain regular cleanings every 6 months since your dental hygienist is able to remove built up calculus using her professional tools. Maintaining dental checkups are also important since your dentist can detect early tooth decay and can take preventative measures to make sure