Dental caries is a multi-factorial disease that affects both adults and children
20 June 2018| Last updated on 20 June 2018
Starting from the earlier years and as soon as the teeth erupt, bacteria are normal inhabitants in the mouth. All that is needed by bacteria to survive and multiply is a substrate in the form of milk or regular diet at the later stage.
Bacteria feed on the substrate and produce acid that degenerate the tooth and form cavities. In simple terms, the tooth is then said to be rotting.
What should you do if you notice that your child’s teeth are rotting?
- Consult a pediatric dentist.
- Do relevant x-rays to get proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Based on x-rays and clinical exam, the pediatric dentist will guide you with the treatment needs which can range from fillings to root canal treatments.
What can be done to avoid this situation?
- Use fluoride toothpaste twice daily after breakfast and before bedtime.
- Avoid nighttime feeding.
- Schedule a visit to a pediatric dentist at the time of eruption of the first tooth. Visit the dentist regularly every 6 months to check the status of the teeth, gums and jaw development.
- Get proper guidance from the pediatric dentist to avoid the teeth decay. This includes recommendations on how to clean your child teeth and gums, habits, nutrition and feeding.
Why do treatments when my child’s teeth are not permanent anyway?
Even though these teeth are primary and are meant to change, the transition happens between the age of 6-8 years for front teeth and 10-12 years for the back molars.
This duration is long enough to neglect primary teeth decay. Primary teeth not only serve in better chewing, they also prevent para-functional habits of tongue thrusting.
They help in maintaining adequate space in the dental arch for upcoming permanent teeth, and last but not the least the upper front primary teeth aid in proper speech development and confidence build-up for the growing toddler.