Early Childhood Caries
Because the teeth of your child are still developing, they can be susceptible to a myriad of problems causing severe pain and possible tooth loss. Taking care of them and maintaining good oral health can prevent them from experience these symptoms. Here at Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the issues that may arise in small smiles and can quickly take care of them before they become bigger, more serious issues.
The Role of Bacteria in Early Childhood Caries
Cavity causing bacteria start to thrive in the mouth of a baby after the first tooth starts to erupt. This is why it can be helpful to have the teeth of your child regularly checked to prevent caries formation and tooth degradation. Early childhood caries is characterized by demineralization of the dentin caused by plaque and tartar formation. The demineralization process causes bacteria to flourish inside the mouth, leading to cavity formation and eventually enamel and tooth loss. This is often caused by several factors including poor nutrition, unrestricted consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and even late-night breastfeeding or bottle use after the first tooth has erupted.
However, more importantly, the role of bacteria in the development of early childhood caries (ECC) cannot be overlooked as they are the leading culprit behind the development of decaying teeth. It can be a huge problem considering that the teeth of the child are still underdeveloped, and caries formation can be a serious problem when left untreated. Children suffering from early childhood caries can see the problem happen again during teenage years when the teeth have fully matured.
Preventing Dental Caries
When the first teeth start to erupt it is crucial to have your child develop healthy oral habits. Also, make sure that your child eats a balanced diet to keep their bones and teeth strong. One way of instilling a good oral habit within your child is to regularly clean his or her teeth and show them how it is done correctly. Use a soft toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste to clean the gum line and teeth and do it at least twice a day. Limit the intake of sugary snacks and beverages can also help a lot as this causes bacterial formation inside the mouth.
Teaching your child to drink in a regular cup and not from a bottle will also prevent the formation of dental caries. Ideally, you want to begin to teach your child as early as one year old to start drinking from a sippy cup, so they do not have to go to sleep with a bottle. This removes the possibilities of milk pooling within the mouth, which causes a bacterial invasion. The likelihood of a young toddler developing early childhood caries is also greater amongst children who have not visited a pediatric dentist yet. Early formation of a dental problem can be a harrowing experience both for you and your child. However, ECC is a preventable disease, and the office of Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry can help prevent the occurrence of such dental problem.