Although your kid’s primary teeth are eventually going to fall off, they still need those tiny choppers to nibble at things, chew food and also speak properly. Most adults neglect the dental health of their kids. They assume teeth problems such as tooth decay and cavities are an adult problem. However, statistics show that kids are also widely affected. Up to 42% of kids aged between 2 and 11 will have cavity problems affecting their primary teeth because parents are not paying close attention to their oral health.

Cavity problems in kids’ teeth occur when kids eat too many sugary foods. And who can blame them? Kids and sugar are inseparable. However, cavity issues happen when a sugar-coated diet is not accompanied with the required proper dental care. Kids, just like adults, require proper dental hygiene and the occasional visit to the dentist. If the sugary substances are not washed off well, the bacteria feasting on them are also responsible for breaking up the enamel thus causing tooth cavities. Kids that eat more frequently are especially more prone to the tooth cavity problems because there is no sufficient time for the acid in the mouth to be washed off the teeth by saliva.

There are simple dental care tips that can help your kid avoid dental cavities. These will ensure you don’t have to take your kid through costly and complex dental care routines.

Good dental care hygiene begins even before the teeth appears

Most parents assume that since there is no visible teeth, there is no need to worry about proper dental hygiene. Just because you can’t see teeth does not mean that they do not exist. In fact, the primary teeth will appear in the second trimester of the pregnancy so by the time the child is born, many of these could be already fully developed in the toddler’s jaw. Follow these dental care tips to ensure their oral health is in the best shape:

  1. Even before the teeth begin, make sure the gums are cleaned properly so as to get rid of bacteria.  You can do this using a clean damp cloth.
  2. As soon as the teething begins, buy your baby an infant toothbrush and infant toothpaste that does not generally contain fluoride. Use just a little bit of it as they are likely to swallow it.
  3. It is also ok to floss your baby’s teeth. Do this as soon as you are able to touch their teeth.
  4. Kids aged from two onwards are generally able to spit out when their teeth is being brushed. However, take precautions and avoid giving them water that they can swish and spit out as at this age, they are still more likely to swallow.
  5. From the age of 3, you should be able to introduce the toothpaste but give them only a very small amount of that.
  6. To prevent swallowing, ensure you supervise the kids when they are brushing. Kids aged below 6 are generally at a higher risk of swallowing the toothpaste when brushing their tiny choppers so they need constant supervising.

Tooth decay in babies also occurs when you don’t incorporate proper eating habits. When feeding, have the dental needs of the baby in mind. Most parents let babies sleep with bottles in their mouths and while this offers some convenience, it might lead to a build up of bacteria in the gums that eventually cause tooth cavities. The sugars from the baby food can erode the enamel if they are left to stay in the mouth for a longer duration of time without cleaning. This practice generally creates a condition that is called bottle mouth which is characterised by discoloured front teeth or pitted teeth. 

Start oral hygiene early on, avoid giving the baby too much sugary foods and take the baby to the dentist once in a while and you will assure them of excellent oral health that is also cavity-free.