Health and safety

Overall Dental Health of a Child

The stages of tooth decay

When do have to exactly start taking care of our child’s dental health?

Have you ever wondered or have you just taken it for granted. The mother’s duty of taking care of the child teeth starts even before you can see them, yes you read it right! Wiping the gum pads with a damp cloth after feeding helps in the prevention accumulation of excess milk and thus bacteria. Just because we cannot see the teeth it doesn’t mean it’s not there as I have mention in my article about development of dentition the initiation of development of all milk teeth occur between 3.5 to 4.5 intrauterine months.

To understand why we have to be so careful about our teeth we need to first understand what is tooth decay and what causes it only then you will understand the real need for dental care. As decay is the most common problem affecting the teeth and milk teeth being more prone to decay than the permanent teeth I have first discussed about decay.How the baby skin is considered to be soft and delicate likewise the baby teeth are also to taken care of so that our children don’t suffer pain.

What is decay or cavities? How is it caused?

Decay forms when the food stuffs are retained in the mouth where the bacteria gets deposited as a result acid is formed that leads to the demineralization of the tooth structures leading to the cavity formation which is the decay.

Now this decay if left untreated may even lead to the complete and painful loss of the tooth.

The very bitter truth about decay is it cannot be cured the lost tooth structure is lost forever. That is why our main motivation here is prevention. But once it has occurred the progress of decay can be stopped and the demineralized tooth structure can be filled by a dentist. Here again it’s the parents duty to identify the decay early and get it filled before it affects the whole tooth.

Leaving the child with the feeding bottle at bed time may be convenient for the mother but very dangerous for your child’s tooth. The tooth exposed to milk of a long hours can easily lead to cavitation. Sometimes heredity, systemic conditions nutrition deficiency can also cause decay or caries.

Parents who have a history of decay teeth can expect their children to get the same and thus take up preventive measures to save the child’s teeth. A visit to a dentist can do this, a fluoridated resin material called sealant are applied in the decay prone areas of the teeth thus forming a protective layer on the tooth enamel from bacteria.

Here in this article I have discussed about the most common problem affecting the teeth that is decay. In my coming up articles I’ll like to discuss more about the other common problems affecting the child’s dental health…

Read Knowing the Common Dental Problems and Its Causes

About the author

Dr. Shreen Fatima

The writer is a practising dentist who has a passion for kids dental health and who herself enjoys dealing with kids. Being herself a mother of a kid wants to share her knowledge on dental health care for the benefit of the child's well-being.