Early childhood caries, also known as nursing caries or baby bottle caries is the commonest chronic infectious disease of childhood.
How do young children get dental decay?
There is a likely increase in the development of dental decay occurring in infants or toddlers that
-Take a bedtime bottle with milk, juice, formula
-Have a poor oral hygiene
-Frequently snack on unhealthy food
-Have prolonged breastfeeding (for more than a year)
9 Tips To Help Prevent Early Childhood Dental Decay
Early childhood dental decay is preventable.
The outer surface of baby teeth is softer and thinner than permanent teeth, which makes it more prone to decay easily and quickly.
By following a few simple guidelines, dental decay can be prevented in children.
- Healthy dental habits should begin early as the eruption of the first tooth. Brush your child’s teeth twice daily using a light smear of fluoride toothpaste, from the time that first teeth erupt 10 yes of age. Unsupervised brushing has a risk of accidental toothpaste ingestion by the child.
- The first visit of your child to a dentist should be at least by 6 months or at most, by their first birthday. The dentist will do a thorough examination & discuss regular dental care of your child during this visit.
- Avoid giving a bottle or sippy cup with milk, formula, juice or other sweet liquids at night before they go to sleep.
The sugars in these liquids remain in the mouth & are harmful. It promotes tooth decay & erosion of tooth enamel. Added sugars in food are responsible for reducing the PH of the oral cavity resulting in the demineralisation of teeth.
- Cooled or room temperature water can instead be given at night time.
- Do not dip your child’s pacifier in any sweetened substances.
- Avoid sweet and sticky snacks such as candy, chips, gummies, cookies, Fruit Roll-Ups, or cookies.
- Control the frequency & amount of with which the snacks are taken
Frequent snacking contributes to tooth decay as there is less time interval between eating to allow teeth to recover from Fe mineralisation, due to acid produced by plaque.
- Check the fluoridation levels in your water. It is one of the most common sources of fluoride. Your paediatrician or dentist may prescribe a fluoride supplement or apply fluoride varnish if your tap water does not have enough fluoride.
- Following proper oral hygiene, healthy dietary recommendations, preventive dental care including regular dental checkups & recommended fluoride intake, childhood dental decay can be prevented.
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