How to prevent dental caries of primary teeth (milk teeth)

Many parents have the false notion that dental caries are common among adults and can’t really affect children. But that is far from the truth. A survey conducted by the WHO shows that more than 530 million children have dental caries.

If you don’t want your kids to have dental caries, there are a handful of things you must do.

 Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this article, we will first look at what dental caries is and what causes it.

What exactly is dental caries?

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is an oral condition that causes the breakdown of the tooth enamel. The condition is caused by a bacterial that secrete acids that destroy the surface of the tooth. This can lead to a cavity (a hole in the tooth). If dental caries aren’t treated, it may cause severe pain and infection.

What increases the risk of dental caries in children?

The odd of your little one developing dental caries is going to be higher if he eats food that contains sugar (fruit juice, milk, bread, soda, cake, cereals, and candy) and does not brush his teeth afterward. A bacterial that live in our mouth use the remains of these foods to secrete the acids that damage the tooth and cause cavities.

How to prevent dental caries

Below are a few things you can do to prevent your kids from having dental caries.

Help your kids build good oral habits.

Waiting for your kids to grow up before teaching them how to brush is by no means a good idea. As soon as they can walk and hold things with their hands, you should start teaching them how to brush and floss.

As you know, most kids do not enjoy brushing their teeth and may want to skip it. You can make the brushing process fun by buying a toothbrush with a beautiful design.

If your kids are still little, you should brush with them and check if their teeth are clean when they are done brushing.

It isn’t out of place to inform your little one of what could happen to their teeth if they don’t brush them regularly.

Use high-quality toothpaste.

It is easy to assume that every toothpaste on the market can improve the oral health of you and your kids. Well, the sad truth is that not every toothpaste is high quality and can address the needs of your family.

To get the best results, you should invest in high-quality toothpaste from reputable brands. You won’t regret it.

Ensure that you are getting enough fluoride

Toothpaste is rich in a special compound known as fluoride. Fluoride helps to toughen the teeth. This, thus, will make it difficult for acids to penetrate it easily.

Note that the fluoride we get from toothpaste may not be enough to keep our teeth strong. This is why the tap water in many towns is fluoridated. If you use purified water or the tap water in your region isn’t fluoridated, you and your kids should consider taking fluoride supplements. Be sure to check with your dentists before you start using them. And remember that taking too much fluoride can affect your teeth negatively. Experts have found that using too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis or teeth discoloration.  

Avoid or reduce intake of certain foods

Reducing your kid’s intake of sugary foods like candy, cake, juice, and so on can go a long way in preventing your kid’s enamel from eroding. And, if on rare occasions your kids consume sugary food, you should make sure that they brush their teeth or rinse their mouth when they are done eating or drinking. You should also do the same after taking sweetened oral (liquid) medication.

Don’t allow prolonged contact with sugar and breast milk

If your kids can walk and brush by themselves, you can easily instruct them to rinse their mouth or brush their teeth after consuming sugary foods. However, if your little one is still a baby, you have to put a little more effort to ensure that their dental health is spot on. For example, you will have to remove a bottle from their mouth after they have fallen asleep. Also, you should clean your baby’s teeth after feeding. Your goal is to prevent your baby from having prolonged contact with sugar (present in baby formula) and breast milk.

Introduce cups to your kids on time

As soon as your child is 1 year old, you should introduce him to cups. Many dentists have pointed out that using feeding bottles can increase the risk of tooth decay in kids, especially when they consume sugary drinks with them.

Ensure that your kids are eating healthy

Feeding your child with nutritious foods will not only improve their health but will also reduce the risk of dental caries. Studies suggest a diet rich in vegetables, grains, fruits, and some dairy products can reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Final note

Dental caries is a prevalent condition that can affect kids and adults alike. Applying the tips discussed in this article will go a long way in preventing your kid from developing the condition. And if your kid already has dental caries, you should take him to a dentist as quickly as possible.

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