Dental Care For Babies And Young Children
Your child’s first teeth are as important as permanent teeth and require daily care. Baby teeth allow your child to chew and speak properly as well as reserve the correct spacing for the gums. Daily care is needed so baby teeth aren’t lost prematurely from causes such as decay (known as caries). Caries in baby teeth is commonly caused by the prolonged contact of sweet liquids, food acids or food with the enamel. A child who is taught to look after baby teeth is more likely to look after the permanent teeth.
An infant or young child with tooth decay is known to have “early childhood caries” or ECC. The main factors for ECC include:
- Settling the baby to sleep with a bottle of milk including sweet flavoured milk, cordial, soft drink, sports drink or fruit juice. Bacteria feed on the sugar in these drinks to form a sticky coating of plaque. The plaque acids eat into the tooth enamel and cause decay.
- Night time bottle feeding or frequent at will breastfeeding past the age of approximately 12 months
- A high-sugar diet with frequent snacks or “grazing”
- Certain oral health problems, such as lack of saliva (dry mouth) and mouth breathing
- Lack of good brushing and flossing
Having regular dental check ups for children is very important, especially if your child has risk factors for ECC. Without treatment, your child may experience severe pain from toothache, infection and dental abscess, and may ultimately loose teeth too early. Missing teeth can lead to serious orthodontic problems of the permanent teeth, requiring extensive and costly treatment.
Babies should start seeing the dentist as soon as they have had teeth “come through”. This is usually at the age of 6 months.
Are you concerned about your child’s oral health or just need to book their first dental check-up, please call Salamanca Dental on (03) 62888070, contact us here, or book online using the button at the top of this page.
We look forward to seeing you soon and remember to… smile like you mean it!