Tooth decay isn’t a problem that affects only adults. Tooth decay in children is the most common childhood disease and is a major concern for parents. Current published data reveals an overall prevalence of dental caries in India amongst 6-11year school children being 78.9%. What’s worse is that 20% of children’s cavities are left untreated. But there’s good news: cavities caused by tooth decay are nearly 100% preventable.
It’s important to know how it’s caused in order to avoid it. Tooth decay is primarily attributed to a combination of risk factors namely:
So, here are the 6 quick tips to prevent dental caries in your child:
Children respond positively to the creation of routines. A child who gets in the habit of brushing will carry that forward into adolescence and beyond. Children may initially resist, but most will eventually concede to the routine with consistent reinforcement.
A great way to get your children to brush and floss is by brushing with them especially in the night as the caries causing organisms are more active in the night due to decreased salivary flow. It is one of the best things parents can do for their kids’ oral health is to take care of their own! Seeing a parent value their teeth reinforces its importance on children.
The amount of sugar that is in kids’ drinks and diets directly relates to the rise in tooth decay. When left on your teeth, sugar gives bacteria the food it needs to thrive and create cavities, which is why you should avoid sugary drinks. Beverages like soda, fruit juice and sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar that damage teeth, and affect your overall health. Try giving your children water to cut back on the amount of sugar they intake. More than volume, it is the frequency that is more harmful. Snacking 2-3 times a day in between meals is probably the most important risk factor for causing tooth decay.
Crackers, potato chips and other starchy foods can get stuck in the small areas of tooth surfaces. Without proper brushing, these foods provide sugar to bacteria that feed on it which ultimately leads to tooth decay. If they do eat starchy foods, have them floss and brush approximately 30 minutes after their meal. They can also swish cool water to get rid of starchy food debris.
Enamel is the first line of defense for teeth, so it’s important to keep it strong. Dairy products neutralize damaging acids that eat away teeth and are rich in casein, an enamel protecting substance. Give your kids healthy dairy products like milk, non-fat greek yogurt or cheese with every meal to boost their enamel strength.
Choose a dental home for your child before their first birthday to establish a consistent oral care routine, as well as check for early signs of tooth decay and prevent cavities. We’ll also give parents strategies for taking care of their children’s teeth, and issues like dental trauma and snacking.
Tooth decay can lead to nights of pain, poor school performance and in some children, behavioral issues. Following the above six tips can help children avoid infection, the loss of a tooth and even hospital admissions due to cavities.
Schedule an appointment with our centre today to check your children’s oral hygiene status, and motivate them towards a healthy life ahead.
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Anna Nagar First Main Road,
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Landmark: Next to Raymond showroom,
Chennai – 600102.
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