Childhood Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, what causes it?

There are a variety of very specific kinds of bacteria that live on teeth that cause decay. When sugars are eaten the bacteria already on your teeth uses those sugars to produce acids that work to dissolve teeth. They can even create an infection in that tooth, causing tooth decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay.

Babies that are put to bed with a bottle of formula, juice or milk have increased odds of tooth decay. This is because there is in fact sugar in these nighttime drinks and the sugar in them is able to stay on your child’s teeth for the entire night, increasing the damage done.

So how do you avoid this baby bottle tooth decay?

One step is to simply but your child to bed with a bottle of water instead of sugary drinks. Do not nurse your child when they’re asleep or has stopped sucking the bottle. Do not allow your child to use a juice or milk as a pacifier, this will only increase the levels of acidity over a long period. Teach your child to use a cup to drink at about six months old, try to stop using a bottle all together by twelve to fourteen months. Do not dip your child’s pacifier in honey or other sugary sweets.

Fluoride, what is it?

Put simply fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening teeth. Tap water often has fluoride in it but if it does not your doctor may prescribe supplements in the form of fluoride drops or pills. They would be given to your child every day when they are about six months old. It should however be used in moderation as prescribed because too much can cause spots on teeth. Its also important to know if your local water does or does not have fluoride to avoid using too much. Fluoride supplements should be used until they are twelve to sixteen years old to keep their teeth strong.

Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof.  For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.