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May 21, 2018

How Can Parents Help Prevent Tooth Decay?

Did you know that tooth decay is the most prevalent childhood dental disease? Preventing children from developing tooth decay is key to a lifetime of dental health. There are simple practices you can do as a parent to protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay and the dental problems that it can cause.

 

Importance of Baby Teeth

Many people may think that baby teeth are not necessary for future oral health. The truth is that baby teeth do matter. Keeping your child’s baby teeth healthy is crucial for your child’s early physical, social, and emotional development.

Baby teeth ensure your child receives adequate nutrition through proper chewing. They aid in speech development and build self-esteem by providing a beautiful, confident smile. They also hold the place in your child’s jaws for the adult teeth growing under the gums. If a child loses a tooth too early, the permanent teeth can shift into the gap, potentially leading to crooked or crowded teeth. Starting children off with good oral health can help protect their teeth for a lifetime.

 

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay begins to develop when bacteria left sitting on your child’s teeth start producing an acid that eats through tooth enamel, making the teeth susceptible to decay. With time, the decay can create a hole, also known as a cavity. If left untreated, tooth decay can result in gum disease, severe infections, abscesses, or even tooth loss.

 

Preventing Tooth Decay

Good oral hygiene begins from the moment your child is born. Before any baby teeth appear, you can start dental care by gently cleaning your baby’s gums with a warm, clean cloth after feeding.

Make sure to avoid putting juice or any sugary drink in your baby’s bottle or sippy cup, especially when in bed. Start instilling healthy eating habits from a young age. Choose nutritional meals and snacks to make sure your child receives the nutrients needed for optimal dental and overall health.

Brushing your child’s teeth at least twice a day, and especially before bedtime is vital. A lack of proper brushing is the primary cause of tooth decay. Brushing before going to sleep is critical because the acids will attack the teeth and gums all night long if not removed.

 

Visit Your Dentist as Early as Possible

One of the most important things you can do for your children is to teach them proper dental habits and the importance of dental visits from an early age. It is recommended to take your children for regular dental visits, beginning when the first tooth erupts.

During your child’s checkup, we will examine how the teeth are positioned and how they are developing and will ensure there are no signs of early tooth decay. Once we complete the exam, we will make any recommendations needed for brushing, flossing, or any required treatments.

 

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

If you are a parent living in North Phoenix and are looking for quality care and specialized dentistry solutions for kids, please contact us today. Our caring, highly experienced team at Jet Set Smiles is dedicated to maintaining your child’s healthy, happy smiles for a lifetime!