How to stop tooth decay in toddler?

(March 17, 2010)

Dental problems are always painful be it as an adult or as a toddler, especially tooth decay in toddlers . This is one problem you wouldn't want to deal with as it causes a lot of discomfort, pain and infection. This problem is even more difficult to deal with it when it comes to toddlers. For one thing, your toddler is much more susceptible to tooth decay because he/she is not aware or worried about the effects of the food or any other objects that he/she puts in his/her mouth.

It is common knowledge that all toddlers love milk, juice, chocolates and other sweets daily. Similarly, it is also common knowledge that no child likes to brush his/her teeth. It is therefore up to you as a parent to prevent your toddler's tooth from decaying with constant and appropriate dental care. Here's how:

1.    Once your child has six or more teeth, take him/her for a dental check up. Early and regular check ups will ensure you spot any dental problems early and solve them easily.

2.    If you have noticed cavities then get a fluoride sealant from your dentist for your child's teeth. Usually fluoride is present in most water systems, but if you don't, use bottled water. Fluoride protects teeth from decay and cavities.

3.    No child likes to get his/her teeth cleaned. Therefore, it is essential you start early. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, clean them. Initially you can use a clean cloth and wipe them clean. Once teething is done, use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean your child's teeth.

4.    One sure way of preventing tooth decay is to diligently wipe your child's teeth and gum after meals or snacks. If that's too much, ensure it is done at least twice a day (besides the early morning brushing).

5.    Also, it is important to instill the habit of brushing teeth before bedtime. This is, in fact, the best time to clean teeth as you can remove all the food from your child's tooth. Even if your child has learnt to brush, supervise closely to ensure the job is done well.

6.    Avoid giving your child a bottle at bed time. If your toddler needs to drink something before sleeping, give only water. Milk and juice on a daily basis in the night will inevitably cause tooth decay.

7.    While it is important to feed your child frequently, ideally every two or three hours, you will still need to make a schedule of sorts to ensure your child has five or six meals. Ensure you stick to the schedule and not let your child munch on something all day as this will accumulate food on the teeth and result in tooth decay.

8.    In addition, keep sweets and chocolate treats to a minimum. The more sugar you give your child, the faster he/she will have to deal with tooth decay.

9.    Making your child drink plenty of water is good for health; it is also very beneficial for teeth. Water increases saliva production in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away sugar and other food left on your toddler's teeth after eating. If the water has fluoride, it offers the dual benefit of preventing acid production.

10.    There are dental wipes available in the market. Keep these handy when you're traveling or eating out as these will allow you to clean your child's teeth and prevent plaque formation.

Though it is hard to believe, tooth decay is totally preventable in toddlers. In fact, even if your child shows early signs of tooth decay, if you take appropriate care, you can even reverse the decay effects by using implementing some of the above mentioned methods. The best time to begin preventive measures against tooth decay is immediately after your child gets his/her first tooth.

Submitted by P T on March 17, 2010 at 04:53

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