Tooth decay is one of the most common oral health conditions in children. All children have bacteria in their mouths that put them at risk for tooth decay. While good oral hygiene habits such as routine brushing twice a day and flossing once a day are the best ways to prevent tooth decay, there are many other factors that could raise your child’s risk for dental decay.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Dental decay is the result of broken down, or destroyed tooth enamel (the outer surface of the tooth) that is caused by bacteria. Bacteria can be found in the mouth of any child, but when combined with high amounts of sugary or starchy foods, these bacteria will produce acids that break down and destroy tooth enamel.
Tooth decay will first present itself as white spots on the surface of the tooth. If left untreated, decay will become a cavity. Children with higher levels of bacteria, lower amounts of saliva, diet high in sugars or starches, and poor oral hygiene habits are most at risk for tooth decay, and potentially cavities as well.
Surprising Facts About Dental Decay In Children
– Tooth decay is one of the most common health conditions in children: It is estimated that approximately 16 million children in the United States alone have tooth decay. 25 percent of those children are between the ages of two and five years old, while 50 percent are between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.
– Over 50 percent of children have tooth decay before second grade
– On average, 750,000 school days are missed each year because of tooth decay and other dental problems.
– Dental decay in baby teeth can affect permanent teeth: Children with significant issues with tooth decay in their primary teeth are at a greater risk for adult teeth that come in crooked or crowded.
– Tooth decay can cause pain and if left-untreated can lead to more serious health conditions, including infection
– Diets high in sugary or starchy carbohydrates can increase the risk for tooth decay: Foods such as milk, soda, fruit juices, candy, cookies, cake, sugary cereals, refined carbohydrates, and others lead to a higher sugar intake that when combined with acid-producing bacteria will cause decay.
– Tooth decay in children is preventable: Dental decay can easily be prevented with regular, daily, brushing and flossing along with a healthy diet and routine dental checkups. Routine and preventative dental care including biannual cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants can be extremely effective in helping to prevent tooth decay in children. Regular dental checkups with a trusted children’s dentist will also allow for dental decay to be identified before it can become a cavity or a more harmful problem.
At Adaven Children’s Dentistry in Henderson, Nevada, our goal is to provide the best dental care possible for children and provide parents with the information needed to support good oral hygiene in their children. Call our office today at (702) 492-1955 to schedule an appointment!
Adaven Children’s Dentistry
2843 St. Rose Pkwy Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89052