For some children, tooth decay surfaces almost as soon as they begin growing in teeth. Although a cavity on a baby tooth may not seem like a big deal, it can spread into the adult teeth that are lining up to come in. Tooth decay also indicates a lot of bacteria is in your toddler's mouth, which can lead to other oral infections. The following tips can help you prevent toddler tooth decay.
Tip #1: Avoid sleeping with bottles
A major cause of toddler decay is bottle mouth. This occurs when your child is put to bed with a bottle or sippy cup that is filled with juice, milk, or another sugar-containing beverage. Often, the child falls asleep either with the bottle still in their mouth or with teeth coated in the sugars, which gives bacteria something to feed upon. At bedtime, the only drink allowed should be water. This way there is no concern about bottle mouth.
Tip #2: Minimize sweet drinks
Sweet drinks should be served as a treat, not as a replacement for water. If your child is thirsty, they will drink plain water. Young toddlers that still need formula or milk are the only exception, otherwise, limit the sweet drinks. When you do serve something other than water, place it in a cup with a straw as opposed to a bottle or regular sippy cup. This way the beverage doesn't sit right up against the teeth as the child drinks.
Tip #3: Skip sticky sweets
Sticky sweets, such as toffee or gummy candies, sit against the teeth or become trapped in your child's teeth, which increases the chances of cavities. Lollipops cause a similar issue since children usually hold these between their cheek and teeth for long periods. When you do serve sweets, stick with dry sweets like cookies or soft treats like chocolates that can be chewed and swallowed, then rinsed away with water, quickly.
Tip #4: Handle home hygiene
Your toddler may want to try to brush their teeth themselves, and you should foster their independence, but oral hygiene concerns mean you can't turn it all over to the child. Instead, allow the child to start the process and then perform an "inspection" where you brush their teeth again to make sure nothing was missed. To avoid discouraging your child, you can tell them you are checking to see what a great job they did. Provide a lot of positive reinforcement as well as instruction on how to improve.
For more help, talk with your child's dentist. They can help you manage your toddler's oral health. Contact a medical clinic like Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates for more information and assistance.
2 August 2017
Being born with naturally soft teeth, I've spent a lot of time in and out of the dentist's office. Not only have I learned a lot about basic dental care, I've also discovered many tips for dealing with broken teeth, extractions, implants, and more. I decided that I wanted to make the most of my experience by sharing what I've learned with others. True first-hand experience is a great teacher, and I knew that my story could help. I created this site to do just that, and I hope that the information here helps you to understand what to expect from your dental problems.