< Back To Blogs

Tooth Decay in Kids: Causes and Prevention

Dec 18, 2018

Tooth Decay Progression Cartoon Graphic

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), dental cavities and tooth decay are one of the most common chronic conditions experienced by 1 in every 5 US children.

Untreated tooth problems have a tendency to lead to oral infections that may deter your child’s ability to speak, eat, play and learn. A 2011 study found that children with poor oral health were more likely to miss school and perform poorly due to dental pain.

The silent epidemic needs to be addressed by spreading awareness of oral hygiene. The NCHS study conducted in 2018 found that there was a 45.8% prevalence of dental decay amongst the youth aged 2–19 years.

Let’s take a closer look at the causes of dental decay in children and what parents can do to prevent painful dental conditions.

Common Causes Of Tooth Decay In Kids

Not Brushing or Wiping Baby Teeth

As soon as your baby’s first teeth start appearing at 6 months of age, keep them clean to prevent the formation of plaque which leads to decay.

Food residue leads to the development of bacteria which attack the teeth, cause them to rot, blacken, and may even lead to tooth loss.

As your child eats and drinks, their teeth will be exposed to bacteria that require a water rinse after every meal.

Giving Too Many Sugary Drinks And Candies

Every drink contains sugar except for water. The acid in sugar and sodas lead to the erosion of enamel, which damages the thin layer of dental crown.

Breast milk, too, has some sugar content that can lead to dental cavities if teeth aren’t brushed and wiped properly.

Limit your child’s sugary food intake and encourage them to brush their teeth, every time they consume sugary goodies.

Skipping The Dentist

Parents who wait till their children develop a full set of teeth to visit the dentist facilitate dental caries and tooth decay. Inculcate the habit of regular dental visits in your child from a young age.

Putting Children To Bed WIth A Bottle

Giving your child a sippy cup or milk bottle before bed may cause cavities. The sugar in milk and juices deposits a layer of bacteria on the teeth. This becomes a breeding ground for dental cavities and caries that eventually lead to tooth decay.

Tips For Preventing Tooth Decay In Kids

Young Girl Brushing Her Teeth In The Mirror

Healthy Snacks

Feed your kids a healthy diet and keep away from sugary and starchy candies and jellies. Between meals, don’t give them chips and cookies to munch on. Instead, give them fresh fruits, juices, and veggies.

Frequent Mouth Rinsing

After every meal or snack, rinse their mouth with water and wipe their teeth with a wet washcloth while breastfeeding. For toddlers, a quick rinse of the mouth will suffice.

Inculcate Good Oral Hygiene Habits

As your child grows older, start brushing their teeth lightly to ensure they develop the habit of cleaning their teeth.

Purchase cute kid-friendly toothbrushes and make brushing a fun activity by singing songs and following video tutorials.

Visit The Dentist

Start taking your kids for a bi-annual dental checkup as soon as they develop teeth. Before they hit their one year mark, make sure your child has visited the dentist at least once.

If you’re looking for children’s dentistry in Panorama City, head over our dental clinic. With more than 35 years of experience dealing with kids, we have some of the best kid-friendly doctors that offer pediatric dentistry solutions.

Contact Dentalville Panorama City to ensure a brighter and healthier smile for you and your family!