Tooth Decay In Baby Teeth
Statistics show that about 5 percent of babies will experience some form of tooth decay by the age of 9 months. Likewise, about 15 percent will have cavities by the time they are one year old. The risk of developing cavities rises as the child grows. In this article, we take a detailed look at tooth decay in baby teeth.
Understanding Baby Tooth Decay
Early decay manifests itself as tiny white spots on the teeth. These spots typically get bigger or spread over time. As the decay progresses, the spots will slowly change to light brown stains.
Over time, the cavity may turn black or dark brown. If left untreated, it will dig deeper into the tooth’s enamel. Eventually, the cavity will get to the nerve and blood vessels of the baby tooth. This can cause pain, eating difficulty, inability to speak properly, and premature loss of baby teeth. It can also result in an unhealthy development of permanent teeth. It can also affect a child’s overall health.
Preventing Tooth Decay in Baby Teeth
Tooth decay in a baby tooth can be expensive to treat. Fortunately, the problem can be prevented by following these tips:
- From birth to 12 months, gently wipe the baby’s gums with a clean washcloth to keep his mouth clean.
- Between 12 and 36 months, brush your baby’s teeth at least two times a day for two minutes. Don’t use more than a smear of fluoride toothpaste until the child turns three years old.
- Avoid putting your baby to bed with food or bottle in his mouth. You don’t want to expose your child’s teeth to sugar.
- Take your child to the dentist before they celebrate their first birthday. You may take them earlier if you’re worried about their dental health.
- Make sure your child drinks fluoridated water. If your tap water is non-fluoridated, your pediatric dentist may recommend a fluoride supplement. The dentist may also apply fluoride varnish to the child’s teeth. The varnish is an effective protection against tooth decay.
Now that you understand what tooth decay in baby teeth entails, you can uphold proper dental care for your baby and protect them from the problem.