Children can be more susceptible to tooth decay because of the thinner and softer enamel of baby teeth. Young babies are fed with milk and other beverages which supply the bacteria in the mouth with sugar. These produce acid that damages the enamel of the teeth. Though saliva helps to repair this damage, there is a greater risk of damage that can lead to cavities and decayed teeth. The primary teeth help children to eat, speak, and also guide the permanent teeth into a position. Therefore, dental care of children is important right from the start. Tooth decay prevention is possible by introducing healthy eating and good cleaning habits early on. You should also book an appointment with your dentist as soon as your baby starts teething.
The benefits of preventing tooth decay in children
Dental diseases in children can be unacceptably high because of their vulnerability due to soft and thin enamel. The following are the benefits of preventing tooth decay in children.
Overall good general health
Relief from pain and discomfort
Provide a better foundation for permanent teeth
Develop good healthier habits in children
Long-term positive effects on oral health
Make children food easily and speak clearly
Help children adapt to visiting the dentist
The different ways you can prevent tooth decay
Parents can encourage the prevention of tooth decay in children by taking good care of their own teeth as well as cleaning the child’s teeth regularly. However, the following are the major ways of children’s tooth decay prevention.
Maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine: The foremost way to prevent a child’s tooth decay is by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. Always clean the mouth of your child after feeding even before he has started teething. When the baby’s first tooth emerges, you should begin brushing with a baby-sized soft-bristled toothbrush and water.
Minimum sugar intake: If your goal is a healthy smile and sound body for your child then limit the use of sugar. The bacteria that cause decay feed on sugar and produce acid that damages the teeth. In a bottle, you should allow only water for your child. Juices, candies, and sugary snacks should be used only on special occasions or diluted as much as possible.
Fluoride: It is one of the biggest weapons against childhood tooth decay. Fluoride is highly effective for preventing tooth decay in children because when teeth are growing, it combines with tooth enamel to form stronger, decay-resistant teeth that are better at fighting off sugar, plaque, and acid. When your child is about 6 months old, start using appropriate fluoridated toothpaste for their age range.
Dental visits: Though a healthy diet, oral hygiene, and plenty of fluorides are all great start, but oral health is a complex issue. Therefore, you should book regular appointments with your dentist who will thoroughly assess the child’s mouth and give advice accordingly.
What to expect before and during tooth decay prevention treatment?
You should maintain good oral hygiene practices for preventing tooth decay in children. However, it is important to regularly visit your dentist. The following may happen.
Prepare your child to visit the dentist because the environment, instruments, and dentistry materials may make them feel uncertain. Showing your child cartoons or programs showing children visiting the dentist may help prepare them for their dental visit
Bring the children their favourite toys before visiting the dentist so that they can feel comfortable.
When arriving at the clinic, the dentist will sit knee to knee with you to examine the child’s mouth while you will be holding him. After examining, they will also discuss your child’s dental history with you and will determine the treatment depending on the symptoms.
If treatment is required the dentist will discuss the most appropriate steps depending on their age.
What to expect after tooth decay prevention treatment?
Once the filling is done, your child may be feeling a little discomfort for a short time but it is normal. You can expect the following to happen after the treatment.
Mild soreness, redness, and discomfort
Maintain strong oral hygiene
Avoid sugary beverages and foods
Brush your child’s teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush
Use fluoridated toothpaste
Visit the dentist regularly
How much does children’s tooth decay treatment cost?
The cost of a child’s tooth decay treatment depends on the nature of the treatment. However, on average, the cost of children’s filling starts from about £50
Children may need intensive dental care at an early age because they are more likely prone to dental diseases. Therefore, once your baby starts teething, book an appointment with your dentist to maintain strong oral health and get the appropriate preventative advice.