Dental decay occurs when the sugars from the foods and beverages consumed are allowed to linger clinging to bacteria already present in the mouth. Plaque starts out as a sticky substance but can harden if teeth are not thoroughly brushed and flossed every day.
When your child is a toddler, it is the parents job to teach, assist, and oversee this daily task. With everyone rushing off to work or school, this may be the easiest task to overlook. If brushing and flossing are skipped, plaque hardens on teeth leading to the potential for decay or even gum disease. Once plaque has formed, the only way to remove it involves a trip to the dentist to have teeth cleaned.
A few of the other mistakes being made that contribute to decay in your toddler include: allowing your child to nap or go to bed for the night with a bottle that contains juice, milk, or anything besides water; letting your child consume soda and/or sugary treats regularly; not encouraging your child to eat healthy and crunchy fruits and vegetables that help to keep teeth cleaned naturally; and assuming that since baby teeth are not permanent, their care is not that important.
Primary or baby teeth lay the groundwork for permanent teeth. Premature loss due to decay can mean permanent teeth may erupt incorrectly leading to a malocclusion. This one mistake may lead to the need for orthodontics down the road that may have been prevented.
Make sure your toddler visits the dentist regularly, consumes a healthy diet, brushes twice daily (supervised by an adult), and flosses to remove what the toothbrush missed.
If it’s time to schedule your child’s next appointment, contact our team at Forever Young Dentistry today.