As a child grows, his or her primary teeth present. These baby teeth are eventually shed and replaced by permanent teeth. Still, whether a tooth is primary or permanent, its health should still be preserved.
Permanent teeth do not grow back, and they have no natural replacement. Nevertheless, primary teeth are also important. Baby teeth that are lost far ahead of schedule due to decay or trauma can cause a dental misalignment.
Each baby tooth serves as a placeholder for the permanent tooth that will eventually present in its place. When a baby tooth is lost early, the other teeth in the child's mouth may shift into the empty space, causing the permanent tooth to present in a crowded or misaligned formation.
The baby tooth can also develop a cavity that spreads decay below the gumline, infecting the permanent tooth that has not erupted. Nevertheless, dental decay is avoidable. The decay is often caused by poor dietary choices, limited professional care, and inadequate dental hygiene.
Here are a few details about how diet and professional care can protect a child's dental health.
Children often prefer sweets, such as candy and pastries. These items may taste good, but they also promote decay.
The main foods of the bacteria within the mouth are simple sugars. As a result, sugary or starchy foods provide the nutrition needed for oral microbes to thrive. As the bacteria consume the sugars, they release byproducts, such as acid.
The acid dissolves or demineralizes the enamel of the teeth, resulting in cavities.
For children who love candy, sugarless varieties that do not promote tooth decay can be offered. Sugarless gum can be particularly helpful since it mechanically cleans the teeth as a child chews. If a sugary or starchy item is eaten, the child can minimize the chance of decay by rinsing the mouth thoroughly with fluoridated water immediately after eating.
Children should see a dentist at least once every six months. During these routine appointments, the dentist can check for signs of decay and even provide preventive treatments that make decay less likely.
Fluoride treatments and dental sealants can protect the tooth enamel from acid damage. The fluoride helps to remineralize weakened portions of the tooth enamel, and a dental sealant forms a protective barrier around the tooth.
For more ways to keep your child's teeth healthy, contact the office of a pediatric dental office like Little Peoples Dentistry.