Did you know that tooth decay is the number one most common chronic childhood disease? There are a variety of factors that put your son or daughter at higher risk of cavities. However, if their baby teeth are going to fall out on their own anyway, do they need to be treated for cavities? Here’s what your Casper children’s dentist wants you to know about tooth decay in baby teeth and how to protect your little one’s smile.
Why Do Kids Get So Many Cavities?
When oral bacteria feeds on sugar, it produces an acid that can burn through enamel to cause cavities. There is a thinner layer of enamel on baby teeth than adult teeth, so they are more prone to decay. In addition to a weaker resistance to cavities, many popular foods and beverages for children are brimming with sugar. Items like milk, juice, soda, gummy fruit snacks, chips, and candy all drastically increase a child’s risk of tooth decay, especially if they snack on them throughout the day.
Why Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Need to Be Treated?
Many parents wonder how important it is to fill a cavity in a baby tooth. While primary teeth aren’t permanent fixtures in your child’s smile, it’s essential to their oral and overall health alike to take care of them. Untreated cavities in children can lead to:
- Pain and infection that can spread to other teeth.
- Poor nutrition and difficulty speaking clearly.
- Premature primary tooth loss, which can cause permanent teeth to come in incorrectly.
- Missed school, emergency trips to the dentist, and high bills.
- Feelings of insecurity and embarrassment.
How Can I Keep My Child’s Smile Safe?
Thankfully, while tooth decay is very common in children, it can be prevented. Here are a few tips to keep your little one’s oral health on track:
- Don’t put your little one to bed with a bottle or sippy cup that contains anything besides water.
- Don’t give fruit juice to children younger than six months, and limit how much older children drink.
- Teach your child to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day and to floss properly early in life.
- Make sure your son or daughter is using fluoridated toothpaste and drinking plenty of fluoridated tap water.
- Schedule your child’s first dental checkup before their first birthday, then routinely visit every six months.
The oral health habits you teach your son or daughter now can have a lasting impact on their dental care for the rest of their lives. Use these tips to set your child up for a lifetime of happy, healthy, cavity-free smiles!
About the Practice
At Casper Children’s Dental Clinic in Casper, WY, we believe that cavity prevention is the foundation of great pediatric dentistry. Our highly trained pediatric dentists have completed specialized training in caring for baby teeth and developing oral health. They offer gentle cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments that are specifically designed to protect children from tooth decay. If you’re concerned about how tooth decay may be influencing your child’s smile, feel free to contact us via our website or at (307) 266-1997.