25 Nov Facts About Childhood Tooth Decay
Did you know that pediatric dental disease, also known as childhood tooth decay, is the #1 chronic childhood illness? If left untreated, kids tooth decay can have devastating long term effects and consequences. Rampant decay can negatively impact a child’s overall quality of life, inhibit their cognitive and social development and compromise their growth, function and self esteem. If left untreated, pediatric dental disease can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, required emergency surgery and even death. Pain and infection caused by tooth decay can lead to problems in eating, speaking and learning. Dental disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, poor pregnancy outcomes and dementia.
- Parents and caregivers can share tooth decay causing bacteria when they clean their child’s pacifier or bottle nipple by placing it in their mouths or when they share a child’s food and drink. Clean bottle nipples and pacifiers in warm, soapy water and avoid sharing food and drinks with your children.
- Beginning at birth, clean infant gums with a damp cloth or soft toothbrush and warm water after each feeding and check your child’s gums/teeth daily.
- Encourage children to drink water, not juice, in between feedings and never put a bottle or sippy cup in the crib with anything but water.
- Children learn by example, brush and floss your teeth with them to encourage good oral health habits.
- Have your child create a calendar to track good oral health practices. Post the calendar in the bathroom and reward children with a gold star or happy face for each day of great oral care! Help get your child excited about their next dental visit by bringing the calendar with you to show the dentist.
Creating a healthy oral care regimen during childhood will help create good habits for long term success. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly to help avoid any permanent long term damage. Contact us for your appointment today. A healthy smile is contagious!