Did you know in prehistoric times kids did not suffer from dental decay? Did you also know that ‘tooth decay is [currently] the single most common chronic childhood disease’ ? What’s happened in this time? The simple answer is sugar. Let us explore further: sugar does not directly cause decay because it is not what is eating away the teeth. The bacteria mutants streptococcus feeds on sugar, and its byproduct is an acid that erodes the enamel.
Bacteria eats sugar >> Bacteria produces waste in the form of acid >> Acid erodes tooth enamel >> Too decay
What can be done to help avoid early childhood carries?
Before the teeth erupt:
- Book your child’s first dental appointment even before their teeth start erupting. This will help your child get used to the dentist and become comfortable with someone looking into their mouth. It will also lessen their chances of developing a fear of the dentist. At this appointment you will be able to discuss proper oral care for your child in preparation for their first teeth and what to do when their teeth eventually come in.
- At home, you can prepare your baby for oral care routines by wiping their gums. Additionally, this wipes away any bacteria that may already be building up.
- If you have a history of cavities, avoid sharing utensils with your baby. Dental decay is classified as an infectious diseased because the decay-causing bacteria is passed from person to person.
Once they have teeth:
- Once the teeth have erupted, book a dental appointment to get the teeth checked. This is an opportunity for the dentist to explain to your child the importance of oral care, even if he or she is very young.
- Visit the dentist twice a year for a check-up and cleaning.
- Brush teeth with consequence. Even if it is a few teeth, they need to be properly cleaned. It can be tempting to skip brushing your child’s teeth now and then, but that is not teaching your child positive oral care.
- Brush your child’s teeth until they can tie their shoes. Your child does not have the dexterity to properly brush their teeth until they reach the around the age of 6.
- Avoid sweet drinks at night, especially after brushing their teeth.
- Use fluoride containing toothpaste.
Have any questions or need to book an appointment. Feel free to give us a call at (905) 569-6667.