As we observe National Children’s Health Month, it is important to recognize that tooth decay is prevalent among young children. At Simply Wellness Dental, we urge parents in our Burnaby community to be proactive when it comes to preventing tooth decay and promoting good oral hygiene for their children.
Unfortunately, nearly half of the children aged between 2-11 have already experienced tooth decay, and 32% of kids aged 9-11 develop cavities in their permanent teeth. One of the major contributing factors to this public health problem is the high consumption of sugary baby formula and fruit juices. Even breast milk, which contains natural sugars, can lead to cavities in baby teeth.
Therefore, it is crucial to start caring for your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. Our dental experts at Simply Wellness Dental recommend scheduling a dental exam no later than your child’s first birthday and scheduling regular six-month checkups to establish a consistent routine that will last a lifetime.
There are also some steps parents can take to prevent tooth decay even before their child’s first dental visit. For example, rinsing your baby’s teeth with water or wiping them down with a damp cloth after feeding can help remove milk or formula residue left in the mouth that can promote decay.
Parents should also aim to wean their child off bottle feeding by their first birthday, as excessive sucking can lead to issues with jaw development. As soon as the first tooth appears, start brushing with a soft-bristled brush and water. Remember to ask your dentist when it is safe to begin using a small amount of toothpaste.
Parents should also help their child brush their teeth and monitor their oral hygiene routine. Children typically lack the dexterity skills to clean their teeth properly until they can tie their shoes.
Finally, parents should avoid giving bottles of milk or any other sugary drinks before bedtime. If you choose to offer beverages with sugar, have your child use a straw to minimize contact with the teeth. Limiting the consumption of sugary foods and drinks can help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
In conclusion, tooth decay is a preventable problem that requires early intervention and proper oral hygiene practices. Our Simply Wellness Dental team is here to help partner with parents! Together we can take an active role in your child’s dental health, not just during National Children’s Health Month, but all year round.
Contact us at Simply Wellness Dental to check in on your child’s oral health. Our team of dental professionals in Burnaby provide gentle care in a friendly and comfortable environment. We look forward to your visit!