When it comes to babies, it may seem odd to consider that cavities could be an issue. After all, it seems like it takes a period of years for patients to develop cavities. However, as impossible as it seems, babies are very susceptible to cavities and they definitely get them, even at such an early age. It can be a little startling when a cavity is noticed on a baby, however, there are steps to help your child avoid cavities. Keep reading to learn about cavities in baby teeth.
How Do Cavities Occur in Babies?
Tooth decay is actually a disease, and it’s often passed on to infants by their mother’s saliva. If a mother places a pacifier in her mouth to “clean” it then places it in the child’s mouth, she could be passing on the tooth decaying bacteria. This can result in what’s called “bottle rot.” Contrary to popular belief, bottle rot doesn’t occur from the overuse of bottles. It’s simply a term referring to a child that has tooth decay before gaining any adult teeth. Of course, this can occur in other ways as well, such as too much acidic or sugary drinks, improper oral hygiene, and more.
Since They’re Baby Teeth, Do They Need to Be Fixed?
Many parents think that just because a child’s baby teeth are temporary, they don’t need to worry as much about the baby’s teeth. This is a terrible misconception and isn’t true in the slightest. A child’s baby teeth are very important to multiple stages of development. Without their baby teeth, children will have trouble learning how to use their tongue, speak properly, and chew properly. This can result in poor nutrition, slowed cognitive development, and the misalignment of the teeth and jaw. In other words, your child’s baby teeth pave the way for their development and are vital to a smooth road ahead.
How Do You Fix Cavities in Babies?
Depending on the level of decay in the affected tooth or teeth, the tooth may have to be removed or it can be filled. A dentist will always attempt to try and keep the natural tooth in place if at all possible. This is because baby teeth are very important. Therefore, if a temporary fix can be put in place in order for the tooth or teeth to stay, the dentist will opt for that option. No matter what, the decay must be fixed.
How Do I Keep My Child Protected from Cavities?
- Keep gums clean before baby teeth come in
- Properly brush teeth with a baby toothbrush and paste when teeth start appearing
- Try to limit the swapping of spit from adult to baby
- Try to limit overly acidic and sugary drinks
- Avoid putting a child to sleep with sugary or acidic drinks
- Rinse the child’s mouth after ingesting sugar or acidic substances
- Brush and rinse the child’s teeth right before bed
As always, it’s best to take your child in for their first dental checkup around six months or when their first tooth begins to show. Before this time, following the steps above is a great start.