How you care for your child’s teeth while they are young indicates how their adult teeth will come in and how your child’s dental development will progress. That is why a child’s baby teeth, also known as the primary teeth, should be regularly examined by a dentist.
Why Care of the Primary Teeth is Necessary
The primary teeth are essential as they assist in the development of speech and the formation of sound. The teeth allow children to chew nutritious foods that contribute to their health and well-being. The primary teeth also reserve spaces for the growth of permanent teeth. In fact, the primary molars need to be maintained until a child is 11 to 13 years old.
A regular dental routine should be followed so a child does not lose his or her primary teeth before the adult teeth come in. Plus, if your children are taught to care and brush for their primary teeth, they are more likely to take care of their teeth when they become an adult.
How ECC Develops
If a young child or infant develops ECC, or early childhood caries, the condition can surface for the following reasons:
- Giving a baby sweet-flavoured milk, fruit juice, a soft drink, or a cordial. This can cause ECC as the bacteria in an infant’s mouth feed on a drink’s sugar and form plaque. Plaque acids, in turn, attack tooth enamel and cause decay. That is why it is important to know what to feed your infant and to make an appointment with a Booragoon dentist for your child’s dental care by the time of his or her first birthday.
- Night-time feeding by bottle or frequent breastfeeding past the age of one year can also lead to ECC.
- A diet high in sugar, along with frequent grazing or snacking decays the teeth.
- Mouth breathing and dry mouth (a lack of saliva) forms cavities in the teeth.
- Sleep or behaviour issues can even cause ECC.
- Lack of regular flossing and brushing triggers ECC as well.
How to Reduce the Formation of Cavities
To prevent cavities, it is important for children to learn to practice good dental hygiene. Otherwise, a child can develop such dental conditions as a toothache, dental abscess, or infection. In addition, missing teeth in young children can lead to orthodontic problems when they receive their permanent teeth. Risks of ECC are lowered by the following practices:
- Daily brushing and flossing
- A balanced and nutritional diet
- Brushing with a low-fluoride toothpaste
- Regular dental visits
To lower the prevalence of ECC, as well, clean your child’s teeth before he or she goes to bed. Offer plain water to your children if they like to suck on something before falling asleep. Do not dip a dummy in any sweet syrup, jam, or honey. Teach your child to drink from a cup by the time they turn one-year-old and phase out bottle feeding by that age as well.
Encourage your child to drink water instead of fruit juice or soda. Limit the consumption of fruit juice to one-half cup daily. Dilute the juice, and give it only at meals. Do not let your child sip all day on the juice as doing so can lead to a severe problem with decay. Again, a child should visit the dentist for the first time at 12 months of age.