Early childhood caries

Early childhood caries is the most common reason for parents to visit a pediatric dentist. The eruption of deciduous teeth begins at the age of 6 months, and at the age of 7, these teeth begin to fall out over time, and permanent teeth replace deciduous teeth. If proper dental care is not provided, children’s teeth will decay and can have devastating effects. Tooth decay causes a lot of pain and problems, and it is necessary to consider treatment steps as soon as possible.

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Early childhood caries

The major reason for early childhood caries is the presence of bacteria that feed on food and release their metabolites on the tooth surface. When leftovers are found on children’s teeth, bacteria feed on them, creating a hotbed for them to accumulate and grow; because there is a reliable food source. In this way, the bacteria feed on the leftovers, and their metabolic compounds cause damage to the tooth surface.

This process starts with plaque formation on the teeth surface, which is a sticky, yellow layer. If you do not seek the treatment in time, the plaque will expand to a larger extent and result in more severe damage to the tooth. Eventually, it causes early childhood caries.

If you do not treat early childhood caries, it can cause more serious problems. These problems include severe pain and infection. Caries in deciduous teeth in higher and more serious degrees can cause problems in diet, speech, and even jaw growth. In addition to the pain caused by this problem, it paves the groundwork for decay in other teeth and even adult teeth.

 

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decay-progression

The process of tooth decay in childhood

Early tooth decay involves the formation of white strips on the teeth. In severe stages, the teeth will have brown or black areas. The 4 upper deciduous teeth are more prone to caries.

Research shows that if babies sleep with a bottle of milk or formula (or other sugary drinks), they may develop premature caries. In this situation, milk is left in the mouth, and the lactose in milk feeds on bacteria that cause caries during sleep. Saliva flow is low during sleep, which is why teeth are more prone to decay.

 

What are the signs and symptoms of early childhood caries?

Early caries develop in children over time and is difficult to see in the early stages. It is best to check your child’s teeth regularly and be sure to see a dentist if you find out anything unusual. Early childhood caries may appear as follows:

  • Matte white streaks appear on the tooth surface near the gum line; This is the first sign and is usually not recognized by parents.
  • Yellow, brown, or black streaks on the tooth surface near the gum line; These bands indicate progression to decay.
  • Teeth color turns blackish-brown. This stage is the sign of severe decay progression.

 

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Methods to prevent early childhood caries

Caring for children’s teeth plays an essential role in preventing tooth decay in children. If you do not care enough about children’s dental hygiene, it can provide the condition for more severe problems in adulthood. In addition, the pain and cost of dental treatment are so great that prevention is the best way. Tooth decay in childhood is one of the most common chronic infectious diseases in that period of life.

The best way to prevent this problem is to have a healthy diet for children. This is because the problem in children is caused by the sugar accumulation in the mouth, which allows bacteria to grow. Following these tips can help improve nutrition and prevent tooth decay in children:

child-toothbrush

  • Sugar is the biggest problem. The longer and more exposed your baby’s teeth are to sugars, the greater the risk of cavities. “Fatty and sticky” foods such as sticky caramel, toffee, chewing gum, and dried fruits can cause serious damage to teeth, especially when left in the mouth and exposed to sugar for several hours. As a result, avoid giving sugary foods to your baby as much as possible.
  • Eat healthy, high in calcium and vitamin D food. These nutrients provide the nutrients needed to have healthy and strong teeth and gum health. You can get the calcium your children need by using 3 or 4 servings of dairy products a day, and calcium-fortified foods.
  • As much as possible, use sugar-free medicines.
  • Clean it as soon as the first baby tooth erupts. You can use wet wipes or special toothbrushes to do this.
  • Use low-fluoride toothpaste before age 6 and then standard ones.
  • Teach your child how to brush properly to eliminate food and bacteria by maintaining good oral hygiene.
  • If you notice the slightest sign of early childhood caries, see your doctor for early treatment.
  • Never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle.

 

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Medicines that increase the risk of caries

Some medications contain large amounts of sugar and affect a child’s dental health. If your child has been taking a medicine for a long time, be sure to check the sugar level and ask your doctor for a sugar-free prescription.

Some medications can reduce saliva production, which leads to tooth decay and other dental health problems. If these

your child is taking these medications, it is better to use sugar-free gums to produce saliva. These gums stimulate saliva flow and help protect teeth against decay. It is best to encourage your child to rinse their mouth with water immediately after taking medicine and brush their teeth with toothpaste about an hour later.

 

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Does treating caries and tooth decay in children hurt?

The type of tooth decay treatment depends on the symptoms, the severity of caries, the age, and the general health of your child. In most cases, the treatment requires removing the decayed part of the tooth and filling it with special materials. Fillers are materials that are placed in the teeth to repair damage caused by tooth decay. Fillers may be made of silver, fine glass powders, acrylic acids, or resin. Your baby will not feel any pain because the entire course of treatment for tooth decay in children is done under anesthesia.

To prevent pain, be sure not to give the child food or water for half an hour after treatment, and avoid hard and chewy foods for 24 hours. It is better to use mixed foods and cool liquids. Use ibuprofen syrup under medical care to reduce the pain caused by tooth extraction.

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