Australian Institute of Health and Welfare March 2019 report, on oral health and dental care, shows that children aged 5-10 years have on an average 1.5 decayed, missing or filled teeth. It is fair to say that teeth issues start from a very tender age. Dental caries, or tooth decay, can occur as early as during infancy.
Our expert dentists at Healthy Smiles Dental Group in Blackburn help us understand the reasons behind and detect early problems in your children’s teeth.
Tooth decay is caused due to acid-forming bacteria that are present inside our mouths. When children consume sweets such as lollies, drinks high on sugar, or even milk, these bacteria start harming the teeth. Children who are made to sleep with a milk bottle in their mouths or even pacifiers filled with sugary substances or honey are at high risks of dental caries.
To watch children suffer from dental caries is an unpleasant ordeal for both parents as well as dentists. Children may tend to eat less due to toothache and it affects their growth.
“Lift the lip” is the age-old and effective way to examine your child’s teeth at home. In order to carry out this examination, lay your child in a comfortable position. Make sure your child is safe and steady and won’t fall or get hurt. Then simply lift a lip and study the insides of your child’s mouth.
Tooth decay might show as:
- Chalky teeth.
Entire teeth that appear as white as chalk are indicative of wear enamel. The enamel of teeth might not have hardened as required, causing teeth to be weaker and more prone to decay.
- White spots or thin band on teeth near the gumline.
These are the earliest signs of tooth decay. These white spots or bands often go undetected by parents.
- Yellow, black or brown spots or bands on teeth.
Dark coloured spots or bands indicate that the decay has gone to the next level. Your child might be experiencing toothache by now.
- Black or brown stumps rising from the gums.
Teeth may appear as dark coloured stumps. This is evidence that your child has advanced tooth decay.
It is important to treat the decay as early as possible because it is easier to stop and treat tooth decay in the early stages. To prevent caries from happening to your children, follow:
- Good feeding habits – children must be fed with healthy food in a timely manner. They must not be made to drink high sugar drinks or have sweets often.
- Healthy oral hygiene – healthy oral hygiene habits must be instilled in children right from the beginning. When they don’t have enough teeth, the gums must be cleaned with a clean cotton cloth after food intake. After their teeth appear, they must be brushed twice a day with soft and harmless children’s toothbrushes.
- Regular dental check-ups – our dentists advise routine dental check-ups right from the appearance of a single tooth. Regular dentist visits must start from as early as 2 years of age.