We don’t easily associate cavities and gum disease with our children, but in reality these problems can begin very early. As soon as your child has teeth they are susceptible to tooth decay. It is very important that you make a dental appointment for your little one either when they turn one or they have their first tooth.
A 2013 report from the Canadian Institute of Health Information revealed that severe tooth decay and cavities, both of which are highly preventable, are now the leading cause of day surgery in this country among children ages 1 to 5 years. Approximately 19,000 children under the age of 6 undergo day surgery each year to treat dental decay.
While these figures are alarming, parents can reduce the risks by instilling good oral hygiene habits early.
At the Dr. Hobbs clinic, we are passionate about providing patients of all ages with the tools and knowledge needed to have a healthy smile and prevent early dental decay in little ones. Our Hygiene team is proud of the level of care we provide our patients. We like to refer to ourselves as “Mouth Body Hygienists” as we focus not only on teeth but also on overall health before making any treatment recommendations. This is important as overall health and well being is the cornerstone to what might be influencing your oral, thus overall health.
Here are our tips to prevent early tooth decay:
- Wipe baby’s mouth and gums with a clean, wet cloth or piece of gauze after feeding.
- Avoid fruit punches and other sweetened drinks in baby bottles, especially before bed.
- Reduce the frequency of nighttime feedings.
- Use only pacifiers with an orthodontic design, and don’t dip them in sugary substances.
- Avoid transfer of your saliva onto items used by baby, including bottles, cups, and pacifiers. Bacteria spreads.
- Gently clean newly erupted teeth with a small, soft toothbrush.
- Rinse your child’s mouth with water immediately after any liquid medication is given.
- Check for early warning signs by lifting up baby’s top lip. White, chalky teeth, or brown or black stained teeth, indicate a problem. Contact your dental professional immediately.
- Gradually introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to the diet. These foods, which require chewing, stimulate saliva flow and help to neutralize acids.
- Begin regular dental visits by age one.
- Check your child’s mouth monthly for any signs of tooth decay including: dull white spots on the teeth, lines, or dark teeth.
If you notice signs of early tooth decay in your child it’s important that you take them to your family dentist as soon as possible. Without a dental check up and treatment early tooth decay can cause your little one to experience pain, infection, or permanent tooth loss.
To learn more about the Dr. Hobbs team and the services we offer please visit drhobbs.ca or call us at 905-632-2484.