Tooth decay and cavities are common among children all over the world, but more so in developed countries, where we have become dependent on sugary foods and drinks, while overlooking the need for dental hygiene. Unfortunately, cavities can not only lead to pain, if left untreated, they could also lead to childhood periodontitis.
Some of the best childrens dentists in Katy, TX, such as those practicing at Darling Dental Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, say that ensuring your child has a balanced diet, while also teaching them about good oral hygiene, as well as ensuring a visit to a family dentist every six months, can go a long way in helping your child have healthy teeth and gums.
Causes of Cavities
The main culprits of tooth decay and cavities are sugars and carbohydrates. When a child’s teeth are exposed to these two foods on a regular basis, they cause problems because they tend to accumulate on and between teeth. They are also the reason for plaque formation on the tooth enamel.
Now, the mouth is full of bacteria, most of which are good for us because they help to break down food. However, when these bacteria are continually fed on sugars, they release acid as a byproduct. According to family dentists in Katy, TX, these acids attack the enamel, making it weaker and thereby increasing the risk of tooth decay. If left untreated, these acids could penetrate through the enamel and begin to eat away at the insides of the tooth.
Many might believe that if cavities occur on primary teeth, there is no cause for concern because these teeth will eventually give way to permanent teeth, and that permanent teeth are the ones that need to be taken care of. However, baby teeth serve many vital functions for the growing mouth and jaw, and need as much protection as permanent teeth. This is why it is recommended to inculcate good oral hygiene habits as soon as the first tooth begins to emerge.
Dentists in Katy, TX, also recommend that dental implants be used to fill in for missing teeth only after the jaw has completed its growth. This means that such procedures can only be performed in late adolescence. But why wait till your child loses their teeth to take action. Here are some things you can do right away:
- Ensure a balanced diet. With all the essential nutrients, avoiding too much sugar and junk food, your child’s immune system and teeth with both benefit.
- Wean the child off the milk bottle and sippy cups as soon as possible. Baby bottle tooth decay occurs due to the sucking motion that leads the sugary drinks to continuously wash over the teeth. If the child is using a pacifier, make sure it is cleaned regularly and is unsweetened.
- Make sure all family members brush and floss their teeth twice a day. Parents should help with the process till the child is old enough to brush all areas of the mouth themselves. This ability usually asserts itself around the age of 7.
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child should be taken for their first visit to a pediatric or family dentist, such as those in Katy, should be as soon as they turn 1.
With a little care, your children can have a brilliant smile that you will be proud to flaunt.