Did You Know? Milk Teeth Can Decay Too!
When you look at the tiny pearly teeth of your child, still smelling like milk & innocence, does it occur to you that those teeth may be in the risk of decay?
No, it doesn’t.
But the sad truth is that those tiny teeth can also decay. And in modern time when the busy parents seek solace in the company of baby food formula, milk teeth decay has become a common case at dental clinics.
However, it extremely important that you keep an eye out for the health of your children’s teeth if you want to avoid the consequences.
What Happens When Milk Teeth Decays?
There is a misconception that, since milk teeth fall off to make space for permanent teeth, you can do away with dental hygiene when your child has milk teeth. But that myth is the root of all dental diseases in children.
Below is a small list of how decay in milk teeth cause dental problems in children:
- Tooth decay can be very painful and make your child become irritable.
- Milk teeth lay the foundation for the growth of permanent teeth. If the milk teeth are weaker, the permanent teeth will be weak too.
- Decay in one tooth can spread and affect neighboring teeth as well.
- Decay in teeth may lead to infection which can spread in other parts of the body too through saliva and blood.
- Pain resulting from decay may discourage children from eating causing nutritional deficiency.
- Decay and early loss of teeth may hamper with the alignment of teeth and cause overbite or under bite or misalignment.
- If your child is trying to cope with the hurdles of a decaying tooth continuously, he could compromise on other essential behavioral practices like proper speech and facial humility.
- Tooth decay generally implies poor dental hygiene. If you do not encourage your children to take care of their teeth in their early years of life, they may become careless about it in the future. This will affect their permanent teeth in future.
But why is milk teeth decay becoming so common? And is your child at risk of being affected by decaying milk teeth? Read below what causes tooth decay in toddlers.
What Causes Decay In Milk (Primary) Teeth?
You could be thinking that my baby only drinks milk or he only eats home-cooked food – nothing unhealthy and nothing unhygienic. Or he only has a few teeth; how can those teeth decay?
Well, here are some practices that you may want to reconsider:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: The most common cause of milk teeth decay is the lack of proper dental hygiene. Healthy dental practices must start at the first sight of ‘white’ in the mouth and not when the child has a mouth full of teeth. Of course, you cannot brush an infant’s teeth but you must wipe their teeth after each meal. Otherwise, germs can settle and decay their teeth.
- Baby Bottle: Many a time, parents hand a milk bottle to the baby and get back to their usual chores. This is extremely dangerous for their dental health. The baby may get distracted and spends a lot of time drinking milk or keep suckling even after it’s empty. Using baby bottle for longer than necessary may also cause tooth decay.
- Candies & Sweets: We love our children and we love to see them happy, don’t we? And what makes them happy? Sweets, candies, chocolates, ice creams. But before you hand them a ‘decay-dose’ next time, reconsider. Maybe instead of candy, next time you can hand them a sweet fresh fruit and ask them to rinse their mouth after eating that.
- Poor Diet: Calcium makes bones strong. Growing children require a lot of it to have strong bones. Teeth are bones too and lack of calcium may lead to weaker teeth making them prone to decay. Fluoride also helps in building the enamel (outer coating) of teeth. On the other hand, dry fruits, sodas, packaged juices etc. are ambassadors of milk teeth decay.
- Habitual Sucking: Children suck on their fingers, pacifiers and other toys. This is very natural in teething babies. But during the same process, they may also be sucking on to germs and dirt. This will not only cause digestive problems but also hamper the health of their teeth.
- Dry Mouth: Dry mouth is a common cause of cavity even in adults. Devoid of saliva, nothing washes away bacteria from the mouth. Hence, they can thrive inside the mouth and cause decay. So, make sure that your child drinks water and keeps his mouth hydrated.
If you notice black or brown spots in your child’s teeth or if he complains about a pain inside his mouth or even if he has bad breath, bring him to the care of our pediatric dental experts at Alsawai for getting proper treatment.
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