Is it Possible to Prevent Childhood Tooth Decay?

Every parent wants their child to grow up with a healthy and attractive smile, but childhood tooth decay is all too common. One common misconception is that children’s milk teeth or primary teeth don’t need that much dental care, as after all they are going to fall out after just a few years.

Children’s primary teeth are hugely important and help your child learn to speak, allow them to eat properly and will give them an attractive smile. When a child is still young it’s the perfect time to get them used to a proper dental care routine so they grow up understanding the importance of having a clean mouth and with the knowledge of how to brush and floss their teeth correctly.

How We Can Help

12% of Canadians have ongoing pain in their mouth*

We welcome children here at Tsawwassen Place Dental and it is our aim to make sure our youngest patients always feel as relaxed and as comfortable as possible. Dr. Larry Leslie and Dr. Tom Greene are both extremely gentle when treating children, especially when a child is a bit nervous or anxious.

Ideally, great professional dental care can begin when a child is still very young, soon after their primary teeth erupt. When you first bring your child to visit us, we will need to carefully examine their teeth to check they are developing correctly and we can assess their risk of developing childhood tooth decay. Our dental team can also work with new parents, so if you’re unsure of how to brush your child’s teeth we can give you a quick demonstration. We can also offer dietary advice, as well as information about dental treatments that may help to protect your child’s teeth. Another possible area of concern is baby bottle tooth decay.

What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Many parents put their child to bed with a comforting bottle, but if the bottle contains anything other than plain water then there is a risk of childhood tooth decay. Even if your child has clean teeth when they go to bed, a bottle containing formula, milk, or fruit juice will ensure their teeth are continually bathed in sugar right throughout the night. These sugars are the perfect food for decay causing bacteria. Baby bottle tooth decay generally affects the front teeth, but it can cause decay in other teeth.

How Can Dietary Advice Help?

Dietary advice can be useful in a number of circumstances, for example a child with a good dental care routine but who has a problem with tooth decay may benefit from dietary analysis. It’s not always easy to tell which foods are bad for teeth as often foods that are marketed as being healthy and full of nutrients will also contain high levels of hidden sugars. By talking to you about your child’s diet, we can provide information on which food choices are healthier. Even a few simple tweaks to their diet could make all the difference to their dental health.

Preventative Dental Treatments

Preventative dental treatments such as fluoride varnish and dental sealants can be useful in preventing childhood tooth decay. Fluoride hardens tooth enamel, increasing its resistance to decay, while dental sealants can be applied to a child’s adult back teeth, soon after they have erupted. Very occasionally, dental sealants may be used to protect the chewing surfaces of a child’s primary teeth, if the risk of cavities is high.
With good dental care, your child can hopefully enjoy a cavity-free mouth, along with all the benefits of great dental health.

* Source: Health Canada

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