Every parent wants their child to have perfect health and oral hygiene. What many parents don’t know is that dental decay is the most common childhood disease worldwide. Although you may think your child isn’t at risk, sometimes limiting sugar and keeping up a good routine is not enough to shield them. So what can you do to protect your child?
1. Check the Sugar Content
Although you may think that you are limiting your child’s sugar intake (especially if your child is still a baby), you’d be surprised to find that many liquids that young children consume are often high in sugar, including formula and fruit juices. It’s always wise to check the sugar content in anything you feed your child, just to be safe.
2. Watch the Bottle
Tooth decay can also occur among babies who are put to bed with their bottle, hence the popular reference, “baby bottle tooth decay”. Baby teeth are susceptible to tooth decay even when they first arrive. Frequent, prolonged feedings present the greatest risk for these young teeth. Parents can help avoid tooth decay by eliminating the bottle after the baby’s first birthday as well as avoid using the bottle as comfort or at bedtime.
Inadequate amounts of fluoride also play a role in the many cases of dental decay. It is well known that fluoride helps prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. You can check if local water supplies contain optimal levels of fluoride, or if you buy bottled water, look at the label! Most bottled waters lack fluoride but if fluoride is added, the manufacturer is required to list the amount. Drinking water should be tested to make sure the levels of fluoride are appropriate. Too high or too low can be a problem. Be sure to consult with your dentist about the levels of fluoride to make sure they are safe for young children and also if they are too low, appropriate prescription fluoride products can be supplemented. Consultation with the dentist is of paramount importance.
You may not be able to protect your child from everything but luckily you can take these steps to prevent dental decay. Simple habits such as wiping your baby’s gums after each feeding or checking fluids for sugar content can make a huge difference. Avoid other habits like dipping your baby’s pacifier in sweeteners or putting your baby to bed with their bottle. And of course, one of the best things you can do for your child’s oral health is schedule dental visits regularly!
Does your child need a checkup? We love kids at Smile Haven Dental Center and welcome yours! Call us at 860-584-2051 to schedule today.