Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children? Tooth decay is the destruction of the outer enamel layer of your tooth. Consuming too many sugary drinks and snacks can cause tooth decay. As a parent, you should limit the number of this type of drink consumed and avoid over exposure of the liquids to the teeth. Avoid putting juices or soft drinks in sippy cups or bottles and allowing the child to drink over long periods of time, like when the child is in bed. Also, sugary or starchy foods can get stuck on the teeth and cause decay.
Regular dental visits can help your dentist to identify cavities early on before they cause significant damage to the teeth. The ideal time for the first dental visit is 6 months after the child's first tooth erupts. Early dental visits, even if just tagging along with the parent to their dental visit, will help familiarize the child with the dental office making future visits less stressful.
As a parent, you are responsible for your child's oral health until they are old enough to take responsibility for themselves. Clean your infants gums with a clean damp cloth. Monitor excessive sucking of fingers and pacifiers to avoid misalignment of teeth. Encourage your child to drink tap water early on. As soon as your child's first tooth comes in, begin brushing with a small soft tooth brush. Remember, the best way to teach your child to brush is to lead by example. For more information on this and other oral health topics, visit www.knowyourteeth.com