As a parent, you want the best for your child. Keeping your little one healthy also means caring for their smile. After all, tooth decay could lead to serious discomfort, as well as premature tooth loss in extreme cases. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at what parents in Independence, MO, can do to protect little smiles from tooth decay and encourage healthy oral hygiene habits.
Baby Bottle Decay
Have you ever heard of baby bottle decay? This term refers to cavities forming in babies and toddlers, often as a result of them going to bed or taking naps with bottles of juice or milk. Doing so coats the teeth in milk or juice, allowing bacteria to break down the particles and causing plaque buildup, and an increased risk of cavities. As soon as a tooth erupts, it needs to be cleaned twice a day. Initially, you wipe the baby teeth clean with a piece of gauze or a small toothbrush. As your child grows and more teeth arrive, you should upgrade to an age-appropriate toothbrush, still assisting and monitoring your little one as he or she brushes and flosses. Other ways to avoid decay include seeing the dentist every six months and cutting back on sugary foods and drinks.
If we find your child is especially susceptible to cavities, we may suggest preventive solutions. For example, dental sealants coat the rear teeth, providing an acrylic barrier to stop food from being stuck between the teeth. Since children have trouble reaching these teeth when they brush and floss, the sealants help limit the risk of cavities. Application only takes minutes and they can last a significant amount of time before re-application is necessary.
Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps strengthen outer tooth enamel. In fact, communities with fluoride in their water enjoy lower rates of cavities in children. In order to help kids in our community, we may suggest applying a fluoride varnish to the teeth. The process takes minutes but helps protect teeth from serious complications, such as cavities and infection. Drinking tap water also provides fluoride, while bottled water does not contain this helpful mineral. If you have any questions about our preventive treatment, or about helping little ones enjoy optimal oral health, then contact our team today.
Does Your Family Need Children’s Dentistry?
If you have questions about caring for little smiles or about our treatment options, then please let us know. For more information on our approach to children’s dentistry, schedule a consultation by contacting Independence Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Independence, MO, today at 816-350-0808. We also proudly serve patients who live in Independence, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, and all surrounding communities.