Tooth decay is the breakdown or destruction of tooth enamel due to acids made by bacteria in the oral cavity. Teeth decay leads to cavities these are the holes in teeth.
Causes of tooth decay
- Poor oral hygiene
- High sugar levels in the diet
- Less content of saliva in the oral cavity
Which children are at risk of tooth decay
All children having bacteria in their oral cavity, so all are at risk for teeth decay.
Following conditions will raise your children risk for it
- High level of bacteria leads to decay
- A diet with high levels of sugars
- Less water content or no fluoride in it
- Poor oral hygiene
- Less saliva flow in their mouth
What are the symptoms of tooth decay in a child?
- White spots begin to form on the teeth in areas affected, because of these spots enamel is starting to break down this leads to sensitivity of their teeth.
- An early cavity appears in light brown color then it goes deeper, it turns in to black color.
- Kids having decay they will feel pain around the tooth
- Some people feel sensitivity to certain foods like sweets and hot or cool drinks.
How to prevent tooth decay in kids
- Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as first teeth appear in their mouth, brush the teeth and tongue and gums with fluoridated paste.
- For children younger than 3 years use only a small amount of toothpaste above 3 years can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- After two years of floss your child’s teeth daily.
- Make sure your child eats a well-balanced diet and limit the snacks that are high in sugars and sticky – these include chips, candies, and cookies.
- Prevent the transfer from the parent’s mouth to the child’s mouth by share eating utensils.
- If a child uses a bottle at bedtime, only put water in it. Juice or some drinks having sugars can or may lead to decay of your child’s teeth.
- Talk with your child’s health care provider or dentist about using a fluoride supplement if you are living in an area without fluoridated water and also ask the dentist about dental sealants and dental fluoride varnish.
- Schedule routine dental checkups of your child every six months
- Counseling the child about oral hygiene.
What treatments are available for decays?
- Treatment depends upon the child’s age and how the condition is
- Scaling or oral prophylaxis
- If tooth decay is in the early stages it will be treated by filings.
- If tooth decay is deeper and the child gets pain, it will be treated by pulpotomy or pulpectomy and procedures like direct or indirect pulp capping.
If tooth loss occurs at an early age then space maintainers have to be given to maintain space for proper permanent teeth alignment. For more information, click here.