Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children.
If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and can lead to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. It can even affect children’s growth.
What Caused this Child’s Massive Tooth Decay?
Dr. Rob Beaglehole, principal dental officer for Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, recently extracted 11 teeth from a 3-year-old whose parents had let him drink Coke from a sipper bottle to “keep him happy”.
Dentists believe that kids who consume too much soda and not enough nutritional beverages are prone to tooth decay in addition to serious ailments later in life, such as diabetes and osteoporosis.
Drinking carbonated soft drinks regularly can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel. Enamel breakdown leads to cavities.
If erosion spreads beneath the enamel, pain and sensitivity may eventually result. This can cause nerve infection, which can result in the need for a root canal.
Factors that cause tooth decay include the frequency in which the foods are eaten and the time they remain as particles in the mouth.
Getting help for tooth decay
Once your child has teeth, lift his or her lips once a month and check the teeth.
Look for dull white spots or lines on the teeth. These may be on the necks of the teeth next to the gums. Dark teeth are also a sign of tooth decay.
If you see any signs, go to the dentist right away. Early childhood tooth decay must be treated quickly.
Preventing tooth decay with good dental care
Brushing teeth twice a day, eating a healthy and nutritious diet, and having regular dental check-ups with the dentist are essential steps towards preventing tooth decay.
Some good examples of tooth-friendly foods include cheese and chopped vegetables like carrot and celery.