For many parents, baby teeth can be seen as somewhat replaceable, as they’re designed for a temporary period of time. But they are just as, if not more, susceptible to tooth decay. It is very important to try to keep their mouths as healthy as you can, and this first set helps the adult ones come in correctly.
Children are also still prone to infections within their mouths, as well. And even children who are old enough to brush may find ways to avoid the unpleasantness, sometimes in remarkably crafty ways! Today, your Newport Beach, CA dentist explains this phenomenon and some common causes. Also, some ways to help avoid it and keep your child’s smile safe!
It Never Crossed My Mind
When you’re expecting or if you have a young child, there are a million different health issues for both them and the parents that are constantly swirling in your head. But some people tend to ignore the risk of decay for their children’s enamel.
It might seem obvious now, but there are a lot of problems that can be associated with this condition. Baby bottle tooth decay, also known as infant caries, can lead to discoloration. This often shows as brown splotches that will not wipe away. When this is left untreated, it can cause the child pain, so please do not disregard the symptoms.
You might be inclined to think that once the child has lost their infant dental set, that the previous condition no longer matters. However, children’s first teeth set a path that their later growth follows. When this situation becomes such a problem that the child requires an extraction, it can alter the way that the new teeth grow in.
This can mean crooked alignment in the future, which will most likely require othodontics for correction. While the situation might have not felt urgent, it can lead to seriously invasive and extensive procedures. So while I know you are always much too short on sleep, it is important to put that little bit of effort into keeping your child’s mouth safe.
As babies do not have the same ability to swallow and close the mouth as adults do, young children require some additional help to keep their mouth clean. Bottle-feeding is a prime area where cautions should be taken.
It is best to avoid using any form of sweetener onto a bottle or pacifier, such as honey or sugar. While that may get them to take it in the short-term, it can cause not only damage to dental tissue, but also promote poor eating habits as they grow.
Leaving them with a bottle in the crib can cause them to have sugars in their mouth sitting for hours. This means that bacteria are allowed to grow without anything stopping them. And your baby’s immune system certainly has enough to handle on its own!
Using a cup itself is a beneficial thing for children to know. Start teaching them by the time they are around 6 months of age. The American Dental Association suggests a switch to a cup by their first birthday. Keep an open dialog with your dentist!
Get An Examination Today!
If you want to know how we can identify the cause of your tooth sensitivity, or to schedule an appointment, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!