Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

All parents want their children to have healthy cavity free teeth. We’re constantly asked about the best dental advice for their children’s dental health. At Riversdale Dental we want nothing more than to keep you informed and armed with the best information. One question we get often is when to start caring for your child’s teeth. Although baby teeth are temporary and will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth, it’s still essential to keep teeth and gums clean and free of decay.

Some of the reasons why caring for your child’s baby teeth is important, include:

  • Tooth decay may compromise your child’s immune system: Infection and inflammation related to tooth decay are often painful. More importantly, there’s a link between oral health and overall health as the combination of your body’s natural defences with good oral hygiene keeps bacteria in check. Maintaining excellent dental care will reduce many related health risks.
  • Lost baby teeth may cause orthodontic problems later in life: Some infants and toddlers experience decay so severe, their teeth must be removed. The gaps created by removing baby teeth too early can cause misalignment of their adult teeth which will require further dental and orthodontic treatment to remedy, later in life.
  • It’s never too early to start good oral hygiene: Kids that grow up learning healthy habits are much more likely to continue those habits as they grow older. Make oral hygiene a priority, and your kids will too.

It’s important to protect your child’s oral health even before their permanent teeth emerge, and all good dental habits start at home and from good guidance from parents.

It’s Never Too Early to Start Good Dental Habits

At Riversdal Dental, we believe prevention is the key to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums and we’re big believers in practising what you preach! Good dental habits start at a young age but kids learn by observing first. That’s why it’s vital they watch their parents follow a healthy dental routine. Everyone should brush teeth regularly, at least twice a day, and also floss. Parents need to lead when it comes to dental hygiene or it will be hard for children to become engaged in looking after their teeth and gums. If you’re in need of any advice on dental hygiene then contact the practice and book an appointment with our childrens dentist in Camberwell.

You can start brushing your child’s gums before they even have teeth. As soon as your child starts on solids, begin brushing their gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can even let them hold and chew on it if they want.

Once the first teeth start to come through, your child will already be used to the concept of brushing. Flossing doesn’t need to start right away, but should still be established early, especially if your child eats foods that easily get caught between their baby teeth.

Talk to your child about what you’re doing and why when you brush their teeth. It’s more fun for you and your child if you make a game of it so ask them to list what they’ve eaten and then “find” the food and brush it off.

How a Healthy Balanced Diet Helps Your Children’s Teeth

Sugars are not only bad for your child’s body; they wreak havoc on their teeth too. Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet, particularly sugary drinks like juice and fizzy drinks. Sticky foods like caramel, sweets, syrup, and honey should also be limited.

Increase the amount of water-dense fruits and vegetables your child eats. These can help protect your child’s teeth by increasing saliva production. Cheese and nuts are also great acid fighters, which can protect their teeth against decay.

The more water they drink, especially instead of juice or fizzy water, the better. This will also help to create more saliva, a natural protective coating designed to prevent bacteria building up.

Ask Your Childrens Dentist in Camberwell About Sealants

Tooth shape also plays a role in your child’s risk for tooth decay. Even the most conscientious parent who starts brushing and flossing from infancy and practices healthy eating habits can have a child succumb to tooth decay. Deep grooves in the chewing surface of the molars can be hard to clean out, even with regular brushing. In such cases your childrens dentist in Camberwell can help by placing dental sealants.

Sealants are placed on the first and second molars before any decay has set in. The treatment is painless and requires no drilling or anaesthesia. It’s a special resin placed on the chewing surface of molars and cured with a light.

Book a Regular Dental Appointment at Riversdale Dental

If you follow all of these precautions and your child still develops tooth decay, try not to be too hard on yourself, or them. Some dental issues are genetic, causing dental problems no matter how much you brush and floss.

You can reduce the amount of damage that results by addressing small cavities early and recruiting the help of experienced childrens dentists in Camberwell. Schedule your child’s first dental appointment before their first birthday or after the first baby tooth is visible, whichever comes first. By making dental care a priority, you can give your child the best opportunity to keep a healthy, beautiful smile throughout their lifetime.

If you have any particular concerns please call our Riversdale Dental Camberwell clinic on 03 9882 5566.