April 20, 2019
As a parent, the most important thing to you is your child’s health and safety. Nobody gives you a handbook that answers the little questions like when to take them to their first dentist appointment. With more than 4 million preschoolers affected by tooth decay, it’s important that parents know what they should be doing to protect their young one’s oral health. Your child can be at risk for developing cavities as soon as their teeth start to peak through their gums. It’s not just sugar that’s causing tooth decay either. Your kid’s dentist in Dix Hills lets you know what puts your little one’s teeth in harm’s way and how you can stop it.
How is Your Child at Risk for Tooth Decay?
It’s not uncommon for your child to develop serious tooth decay at a young age. Most people don’t know that tooth decay is a disease called dental caries that is caused by introducing certain germs to your child’s mouth. Dental caries is more common in children than any other chronic illness and can result in infections and tooth extraction.
Tooth decay is caused when germs called mutans streptococcus are introduced to your child. These bacteria are especially common if your child eats a lot of sugary foods. They produce an acid that eats away at their teeth and creates plaque. Once these germs start eroding the enamel on your child’s teeth, it leaves the tooth susceptible to developing cavities and infections.
These bacteria are typically transferred from the parent to the baby via saliva. This can happen when your child uses your toothbrush or when they eat from the same silverware as you. The best way to avoid the harmful effects of mutans streptococcus is to make sure that your child is getting the oral care they need.
When Should Your Child Get Their First Checkup?
While keeping up with your child’s oral health by brushing and flossing helps to rid their teeth of bacteria, plaque, and sugar, it’s not the only preventive measure you can take. It’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Association that your child see a dentist by their first birthday. Waiting until they’re older could result in advanced tooth decay.
Even though your child’s teeth aren’t permanent now, if they lose their baby teeth too soon it can affect the way their adult teeth grow in and can even cause alignment issues. This could cause them to need braces in the future.
Your child’s first visit will be quick and easy. Your pediatric dentist in Dix Hills will be able to easily spot the telltale signs of tooth decay or plaque buildup and offer treatment options or advice on how to prevent these.
What Can You do to Protect Your Child From Tooth Decay?
Even though some children may be at a higher risk of developing cavities, all children can get them. Here are some tips to help reduce your child’s risk for tooth decay:
- Limit their sugar intake to prevent their mouth from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Use fluoridated oral hygiene products, especially if your community’s water isn’t fluoridated.
- Take care of your own smile by keeping up with your daily oral hygiene routine. This will ensure that harmful bacteria won’t get accidentally transferred to your child.
Keep the decay away by making sure your child has access to a pediatric dentist at a young age. Being a parent isn’t easy but following basic prevention techniques and scheduling their first checkups can be a great start to giving your child a healthy foundation for their future smile.
About the Author
Dr. Shubha Soni-Gaur is a board-certified pediatric dentist with a passion for providing each child that visits her with the tools they need for a healthy smile. She enjoys engaging children and making their dental experiences fun and exciting. She hopes that each of her little patients looks forward to coming in for their semi-annual checkups and cleanings! For any questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Dix Hills Family Dentistry’s website or contact 631-673-8040.
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