Parents of young children know all too well that those precious little baby teeth will eventually fall out. Even though they’re temporary, it’s crucial to make sure that any cavities or decay in baby teeth, such as molars, get treated promptly. If that doesn’t happen, those cavities might lead to even bigger and more serious problems later on.
The first line of defense against cavities in molars and other baby teeth is a good offense. Excellent dental hygiene such as regular and consistent brushing helps give your children a great start towards a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth, as well as helping to prevent pain and discomfort. Read on to learn more about why you should make sure your children need to receive routine dental care from an early age.
The most common childhood disease in the U.S. is tooth decay. And it’s not just a problem that happens to older children and teens. In fact, over 25% of American preschool-aged kids have cavities, which can start developing in infants as young as six months old. And even if your infant or toddler can’t tell you in words, baby teeth cavities can cause pain and discomfort.
Common bacteria are located in everyone’s mouths and can cause tooth decay. In turn, that bacteria transforms the sugars in your child’s mouth into acid, which then creates cavities. So, it makes sense that you have two ways to help your child avoid cavities in their molars and other baby teeth: get rid of dietary sugar, and make sure their teeth receive thorough cleanings.
Reduce or eliminate sugar by restricting your child’s intake of sugary soft drinks, candy, and other sweets. This will stop that decay-causing acid from forming in the first place.
Additionally, make sure you keep your child’s teeth clean with twice-daily brushing. Use the right tools for your child’s teeth: a soft-bristled toothbrush that’s made specifically for children with a pea-sized dab of fluoride-enhanced toothpaste. Initially, you should brush your child’s teeth yourself, then supervise when they’re ready to take over.
Make your child’s first appointment for a dental checkup when they get their first baby teeth, or when they turn one year old—whichever comes first. Selecting a pediatric dental practice with experience in treating young children will help them feel more comfortable and less anxious.
Even a baby tooth with a cavity may require a filling. With 20 canines, incisors and molars in their mouths, children suffering from cavities may find it hard to eat. Mouth pain can also impact your child’s speech development, so it’s important to get these issues addressed promptly.
Our Kool Smiles partners are general and pediatric dentists who will be happy to provide the dental care your child needs and deserves. Many accept Medicaid, as well as most forms of dental insurance, state sponsored plans such as CHIP, and other payment options. If you do not have dental insurance, ask your dentist’s office team about CareCredit, a medical credit card that lets you pay for dental services in monthly installments.
My Children’s Teeth: http://www.mychildrensteeth.org/assets/2/7/ECCstats.pdf
Kids Health: https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/teeth.html