How to Put Together a Battle Plan Against Tooth Decay For Your Child
February 23, 2018 ABC Children's Dentistry
We hear a lot about the term “tooth decay,” and for good reason. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about four (4) million children between the ages of 2-11 experience a cavity.
In this issue, we’ll talk more about tooth decay, how it commonly develops and the steps you can take to make sure your child is at less risk for experiencing tooth decay.
What is tooth decay?
Simply put, tooth decay is the actual destruction of your tooth’s enamel – that hard covering that insulates your teeth from being damaged. Because of the prevalence of sugar in so many of our foods and drinks, children are especially at risk of experiencing tooth decay.
Once enough damage has been done to the enamel, treatments including cavity fillings, crowns, root canals or actual tooth removal will be necessary.
What is the leading cause of tooth decay?
It mainly boils down to plaque, which is seemingly always forming on our teeth and leaving a sticky film on them. Think about how your teeth feel when you wake up in the morning; that sticky feeling is actually the plaque that has built up overnight.
The bacteria in the plaque is actually the main culprit, as it produces the acids, which gradually break down the tooth enamel.
Other chief causes of tooth decay include:
- a lack of fluoride;
- having a chronic dry mouth (saliva typically washing away the foods and sugars that are so harmful to our teeth); and
- not consistently brushing and flossing your teeth, and not seeing a dentist on a regular basis for routine checkups.
How can I protect my child from tooth decay?
A battle plan against tooth decay is actually fairly easy to implement; the key, however, is diligence.
- Commit to teaching your child to brush at least twice per day (when he/she wakes up in the morning and turns in for the night) and again after each meal;
- Schedule regular dental appointments for your child.
- Rule out snacking before bedtime, as any food left on your child’s teeth overnight can easily lead to cavities.
- Stay away from as many sugary treats and drinks as possible.
For compassionate and fun pediatric dental care in San Diego, call ABC Children’s Dentistry.
Your child’s oral health is a big contributor to his or her overall health. By partnering with us here at ABC Children’s Dentistry in San Diego, we’ll work with you in developing an individualized plan of action for maintaining your child’s teeth.