Ask a Family Dentist: How Can I Prevent My Child from Having Tooth Decay

Smile! It’s Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month!

Tooth decay has become a significant epidemic among the youngest members of our families. Early childhood caries (ECC) is one of the most common diseases that affect children and is on the rise. ECC is harmful to a child’s oral health, general health, and social and intellectual development. Tooth decay, at all ages, is preventable.

The Dangers of Tooth Decay in Young Children (as outlined by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry)

Oral Health
• Loss of baby teeth
• Pain
• Damage to permanent teeth
• Crooked teeth
• Vulnerable to caries and gum disease throughout life

General Health
• Infections to ears, sinuses, cuts, brain
• Life-threatening infection
• Poor sleep habits
• Chewing difficulty
• Malnutrition

Intellectual Development
• Poor speech articulation
• Poor school performance
• Missed school
• Inattention in school

Social Development
• Reluctance to speak, smile, play
• Teasing from others
• Low self-esteem
• Social ostracism

Read the complete State of Little Teeth Report here.

4 Tips to Prevent Pediatric Tooth Decay

Use fluoride

Fluoride is one of the best defenses against early tooth decay. Not only can it reverse tooth decay in its early stages (as noted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research), it slows down mineral loss, remineralizing and strengthening enamel, and keeps bacteria from producing acid (as noted by Colgate). Using toothpaste with fluoride will help protect against plaque and tartar buildup.

Teach good oral hygiene

Good oral hygiene needs to be taught at a young age. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing, choosing water over soda, and opting for healthy snacks instead of junk food.

Schedule bi-annual check-ups at Parker Dentistry

Right around your child’s first birthday is a perfect time for their first professional dental check-up. Healthy habits are best formed early, and part of maintaining oral health for life includes being consistent about cleanings and check-ups.

Try sealants

Sealants are a protective coating applied to teeth to keep bacteria and plaque from getting stuck on the uneven surfaces of the back molars. Next time you are at Parker Dentistry, ask Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve about sealants for your child.

At Parker Dentistry in Hollywood, Florida, we are steadfast advocates for preventative oral healthcare for your entire family and experts in helping our patients young and wise maintain beautiful smiles for life.

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