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How to prevent tooth decay in children

Oral healthcare for children is just as important as it is for adults and the health of the baby teeth can indeed affect the health of the adult teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene from a young age can help to prevent common dental issues in kids such as tooth decay.

What are the causes of tooth decay?

Tooth decay occurs when the surface of the tooth becomes damaged due to plaque. There are many factors that contribute to tooth decay including:

  • Poor oral hygiene: this allows plaque to remain on the teeth to potentially cause tooth decay
  • High sugar diet: sugar is broken down by plaque to form the acid which can cause breakdown of the tooth/decay
  • Frequent snacking: snacking on foods and sugar repeatedly prevents the tooth from recovering after each snack
  • Reduced saliva flow: saliva contains ingredients which protect the tooth from decay.

How can you prevent tooth decay in your child?

Teach your child good oral hygiene habits early:

  • Start brushing your kids teeth from when they first appear
  • Brush twice a day with a child friendly toothbrush
  • For kids from 18 months to 5 years use children’s fluoride toothpaste, and for children 6 and above use adults fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss between contacting teeth once a day, to reduce bacteria growing under the gums

Implement a healthy diet:

  • Limit sugary food and drink
  • Limit snacking
  • Drink plenty of water

Visit the dentist regularly:

  • Children should visit every 6 months in order to identify and address decay in its early stages
  • Preventive treatment such as fissure sealants and professional fluoride application may be done in children with a higher risk of developing decay

If you feel your child could benefit from a Dental Check up give us a call on 03 9370 9118

How to prevent tooth decay in children