Did you know that tooth decay is the most common long-term disease in children? It can form as soon as a child develops their baby teeth. This is why it’s recommended that you take your child to a pediatric dentist before his or her first birthday. Your children’s dentist in Scarborough explains the impact of cavities on children, what is likely to make them form, and how they can be prevented.
What Makes Cavities So Harmful for Children?
Nobody, at any age, is fond of getting cavities. They are always inconvenient and often cause discomfort. They can be even worse for young children. Here are a few reasons why:
- Pain: Not only can cavities cause increased pain and sensitivity, but they can lead to infections that affect nearby teeth.
- Missed school: More dental appointments usually mean more absences from school in order to schedule appointments. Skipping more than two days of school can cause your child to fall behind in key subjects, making it difficult to keep up.
- More procedures: More cavities mean more time in the dental chair. If they are left untreated, it will take longer to restore the tooth.
- Poor nutrition: When a child’s teeth are aching, they won’t feel inclined to eat the healthy food that they need. This leads to poor nutrition during a time when they are growing.
- Expenses: Filling in cavities can add up over time, leaving the guardian of the child with a pricy bill.
What Causes Cavities to Form?
When kids consume a sugary food or beverage, bacteria in the mouth break down the sugar and ultimately eat away at baby teeth. Items that contain plenty of sugar are:
- Cow’s milk
- Formula and breast milk
- Fruit juice
- Sports drinks
How Do You Prevent Cavities in Children?
- If your child’s baby teeth have not grown in, clean their gums with a washcloth after every meal.
- If your child does have his baby teeth, brush them twice a day. Use a rice-grain-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste. As they get older, they can do it themselves with adult supervision.
- Don’t give your child juice until they are at least 6 months old. Once they reach this age, it is best to reserve it to mealtimes only. Remember that the best thing your child can drink is water containing fluoride.
- Avoid giving your child sticky candies. Sweets can stay on their teeth and cause tooth decay.
Cavities are especially rough for children. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent them so your child can continue showing off his healthy, happy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Gus Bal has been voted as “Best Dentist in Scarborough” by the Readers Choice Awards for the past four consecutive years. He graduated from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine and has gained more than two decades of experience. Dr. Bal and his team treat even the littlest patients at his office in Scarborough, ON. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (416) 267-6789.