Not many parents think about the consequences when they notice that baby teeth are decaying. Ignoring dental caries in children, they accelerate the appearance of dental health problems in the little ones.
Unfortunately, tooth decay in children is extremely common in recent years, due to a diet rich in sweets. Dentists sound the alarm when it comes to children’s teeth and suggest parents not to neglect periodic check-ups at the dentist, starting at the age of 12 months. The health of baby teeth is very important, there is also a dedicated branch of dentistry called pododontics – it deals with the treatment of temporary teeth (baby teeth) and the treatment of young permanent teeth (just erupted teeth).
Dental caries in children: why they occur
The most common causes of caries in both children and adults are based on a species of bacteria: Streptococcus mutans. These microorganisms increase the acidity in the oral cavity and contribute to the decrease of calcium and phosphates in the structure of tooth enamel and dentin. Simply, the bacteria “eat” the mineral substances that protect the tooth.
They are aided by food debris in the mouth. Streptococci feed on carbohydrates left in the oral cavity, and their damaging power increases if tooth brushing is completely absent or performed incorrectly or insufficiently and, in addition, dental floss is not used.
The microorganisms in question are not found, natively, in the normal flora of babies. It is believed that adults contaminate the little ones when they come into contact with them, by kissing the forehead, hands, cheeks or by “sanitizing” the little one’s teat with their mouth or by feeding it with the same spoon with which they eat.
The lack of fluoride leads to caries
In the first years of life, it is good for the little ones to brush their teeth with toothpaste with added fluoride, because it has the effects of removing bacterial plaque and reduces the risk of cavities. Often, because it is accused of being a toxic substance for the body, parents hesitate to use fluoride-enriched products for cleaning teeth.
Also, the sweets often offered to the little ones and the deficient hygiene routine of the oral cavity and teeth are to blame for the appearance of caries in children.
The most effective preventive measures
In order to maintain the integrity of milk teeth, parents are obliged to:
– schedule periodic visits to the dentist, starting at the age of 12 months at the latest;
-provide the child with a balanced diet, based on fruits and vegetables and less sweets;
– teach the little one to brush his teeth correctly and supervise him in this regard until he reaches the age when he goes to school;
– to analyze the state of health of the teeth weekly and to request the help of a dentist, when he notices horizontal, whitish lines. Bad breath can also indicate possible dental problems.
Read more about tooth decay in children:
Correct dental care for the little ones from A to Z
Dangerous habits that affect tooth enamel