Baby tooth decay: causes and treatment

You may think that your child’s milk teeth are not important because they will fall out after a while. Well, baby teeth help your child chew and also play a role in speech development. They also play a crucial role in the growth of healthy teeth as they grow. So, if your little one suffers from tooth decay, it will also affect their oral health in the future. According to the World Health Organization, dental caries, which we refer to as tooth decay or tooth decay, is a major public health problem across the world. It is the most common condition included in the 2015 Global Burden of Disease study. It ranks 12th for baby teeth, with 560 million children. Read on to find out the causes of tooth decay in babies and its treatment.

What is baby tooth decay?

Tooth decay in baby teeth is also known as baby bottle tooth decay or baby tooth decay or baby bottle tooth decay, which is basically the medical word for cavities or holes in the teeth. Dr Garima Yadav, chief dental officer at Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, says children of all ages can get cavities, but they form faster in baby teeth than in teeth. adult teeth (permanent teeth). They can begin to develop as soon as baby teeth appear, usually between 6 months and a year.

Baby tooth decay can be prevented. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What causes tooth decay in babies?

Many mothers send their babies to bed with a bottle of milk. This is not a good habit as it can lead to cavities. Here are some causes of dental caries:

1. Sugar

Cavities are caused by sugar and bacteria that live in the mouth. Bacteria convert sugar (found in foods, drinks and breast milk) into an acid that can damage or eat away at the outer layer of teeth called enamel, the expert explains.

2. Fine enamel

The enamel of milk teeth is much thinner than that of adults. It is therefore easy for bacteria to cause cavities.

3. Less saliva

Saliva helps remove the acid formed by bacteria. But if there is less saliva, there is more risk of having cavities, explains the expert to Health Shots.

Read also: These 9 habits can create problems with your baby’s milk teeth

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Ways to prevent tooth decay in babies

Instead of letting your child suffer from tooth decay, Dr. Yadav says it’s better to prevent cavities from occurring. Here’s how to prevent cavities:

• Clean your baby’s teeth, gums and tongue at least twice a day with a clean, damp cloth or sterile cotton after feeding and at bedtime.
• Clean your baby’s teeth and gums after giving him medicine, as it also contains sugar.
• Use a bottle only during mealtimes. Make sure you don’t use a milk bottle as a pacifier.
• Do not put baby to sleep with a bottle in his mouth.
• Avoid giving sugary drinks and fruit juices, especially between meals.
• Avoid giving sticky snacks or chocolates that stick to your teeth and stay for a long time.
• Start brushing baby teeth as soon as the first teeth appear.
• Use fluoridated toothpaste for children.
• Visit your dentist regularly for early detection of cavities.

baby with a spoon
The infected tooth is usually removed in case of tooth decay. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to treat tooth decay in babies?

When it comes to treating baby tooth decay, there are many options.

1. Fillers

If detected early, healthy teeth can be preserved. The dentist will remove the infected part and fill it with inert materials, says the expert.

2. Pulpotomy

If cavities reach the nerve, a specialized procedure is performed to save the tooth. This is called a pulpotomy which usually requires two to three sessions to clean the roots and fill them with inert material.

3. Crowns

Crowns are necessary in some cases to restore the aesthetics as well as the proper functioning of the tooth.

4. Extraction

In severe cases of infection, an extraction should be performed depending on the age of the child and the condition of the tooth.

5. Application of fluoride

If the caries problem has just started, fluoride can be used. It is applied by the dentist from an early age so that the enamel becomes more resistant to the action of acids.

As a parent, focus on your child’s dental health so that there is no room for cavities.

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