The minute your baby’s first tooth comes in they are at risk for tooth decay. This is why it’s so important that you have a pediatric dentist that you can turn to early in life when children’s teeth and gums are developing rapidly. These six-month checkups can remove plaque and tartar buildup (which are responsible for the development of cavities and gum disease) and also provide important education for parents on how to properly care for their child’s growing smiles to protect against decay.
What causes cavities?
Cavities are incredibly common in children. In fact, it’s one of the most common problems we see here at Brick Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. This can be due to poor dental hygiene or poor diet. Cavities are the result of bacteria in the mouth. And these little bacteria love sugar just like your child probably does. Unfortunately, when bacteria gets ahold of sugar, this causes it to convert the sugar into acid, which attacks and eats away at healthy tooth enamel. This is what leads to decay.
Are cavities preventable?
Absolutely! How you and your child care for their smile will dictate the long-term health of their teeth and gums. We can’t reiterate enough just how important it is for your child to visit the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. It’s during these checkups that we can spot those early signs of decay and then provide personalized treatment options and preventive options that may even be able to reverse these beginning stages of decay.
Of course, you should also be doing your part when it comes to your child’s at-home care. This includes,
Brushing and flossing: To remove plaque from teeth and gums, it’s important to brush your child’s teeth once in the morning and again at night with a small soft-bristled toothbrush. You should also floss your child’s teeth once a day.
Fluoride: It’s important to add fluoride toothpaste to your child’s oral care routine. Fluoride is essential for keeping teeth healthy and strong. It can even reverse early signs of decay. Of course, our pediatric dentistry team can determine if your child is getting enough fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water. If not, we can provide additional fluoride treatment.
Healthy diet: What your child eats can either starve or feed that bacteria we were talking about. This means a diet low in sugar and starches is best for protecting your child’s teeth from decay. Avoid sports drinks, fruit juices, chewy granola bars and other foods masquerading as “healthy” options that are really loaded with sugar.
Is it time for your child to start visiting the dentist?
If so, call Brick Pediatric Dentistry (732) 920-9220 to schedule an appointment.
We can’t wait to meet you!