Child Tooth Decay: Facts, Treatment and Prevention

Tooth Decay Facts

Since the early 1990’s child tooth decay has been on the rise. According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have had tooth decay (dental caries) in their primary teeth. What is even more shocking is that 23% of children ages 2 to 11 have untreated tooth decay. Now, more than ever before, children are exposed to high sugar snacks and drinks that are causing a severe declined in oral health. As parents and caregivers what can you do to prevent your kids from following this trend?

Prevention of Child Tooth Decay

Early prevention is the key to curbing tooth decay in your little ones. Babies are at high risk for tooth decay as breast milk and formula are full of sugar. There are some tips that experts suggests following to help reduce the damaging effects of these high sugar liquids on your baby’s teeth.

  • DO NOT fill your child’s bottle with any liquids that are rich in sugar
  • DO NOT Put your child to bed with juice, milk, or other drinks
  • Once your baby has fallen asleep take the bottle out of their mouth or stop nursing
  • Limit the amount of juice your baby drinks to 6 ounces or less per day
  • Gently wipe the inside of your child’s mouth with a soft, clean washcloth after every meal

Once your baby starts to develop teeth, you can follow these oral care guidelines to make sure your baby’s teeth are healthy.

  1. Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they start to develop.
  2. Begin flossing your child’s teeth once all of their baby teeth have broken through.
  3. Non-fluoridated toothpaste is best to use until you can assure that your child will not swallow it.
  4. Inspect your child’s teeth regularly and begin dental visits when your child is about 2-3 years
    old(once all of the baby teeth are in).

If you do notice any of the following, make sure to take you child to the dentist tight away for an exam.

  • Chalky, white spot on the tooth
  • Pain or discomfort in the teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Black or browChild Dental Patientn spots on the tooth

If after an exam the dentist discovers that your child does have decay or a cavity in the
tooth, there are treatments available.

Treatment of Child Tooth Decay

Treatment depends on the severity of decay in your child’s tooth. The dentist will first
access the level of decay and then take the necessary steps to repair the tooth. Some
of the treatment options available are:

  • For minor cavities, treatment involves cleaning the tooth, removing any plaque buildup and the application of a remineralization compound
  • For more severe cases of tooth decay, or when it impacts the dentin layer of the tooth, the most common treatment for tooth decay is to drill out the damaged tooth material and then to fill the tooth with a dental compound
  • If the tooth decay has affected the nerve of the tooth or caused an infection , a root canal is necessary to clean out all the decay and infection

Sound unpleasant? It is! The most important thing you can do for your children’s teeth is to prevent tooth decay by instilling good oral hygiene habits in you little ones early.

Avoid filling their diet with sugary foods and drinks and make sure to take them to the dentist for regular check-ups.

Make an appointment today at Modern Dental!

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