As a parent, the most important thing to you is your child’s health and safety. Nobody gives you a handbook that answers the little questions like when to take them to their first dentist appointment. With more than 4 million preschoolers affected by tooth decay, it’s important that parents know what they should be doing to protect their young one’s oral health. Your child can be at risk for developing cavities as soon as their teeth start to peak through their gums. It’s not just sugar that’s causing tooth decay either. Your kid’s dentist in Dix Hills lets you know what puts your little one’s teeth in harm’s way and how you can stop it.
How is Your Child at Risk for Tooth Decay?
It’s not uncommon for your child to develop serious tooth
decay at a young age. Most people don’t know that tooth decay is a disease
called dental caries that is caused by introducing certain germs to your
child’s mouth. Dental caries is more common in children than any other chronic
illness and can result in infections and tooth extraction.
Tooth decay is caused when germs called mutans streptococcus
are introduced to your child. These bacteria are especially common if your
child eats a lot of sugary foods. They produce an acid that eats away at their
teeth and creates plaque. Once these germs start eroding the enamel on your
child’s teeth, it leaves the tooth susceptible to developing cavities and
These bacteria are typically transferred from the parent to
the baby via saliva. This can happen when your child uses your toothbrush or
when they eat from the same silverware as you. The best way to avoid the
harmful effects of mutans streptococcus is to make sure that your child is
getting the oral care they need.
When Should Your Child Get Their First Checkup?
While keeping up with your child’s oral
health by brushing and flossing helps to rid their teeth of bacteria,
plaque, and sugar, it’s not the only preventive measure you can take. It’s
recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Association that
your child see a dentist by their first birthday. Waiting until they’re older
could result in advanced tooth decay.
Even though your child’s teeth aren’t permanent now, if they
lose their baby teeth too soon it can affect the way their adult teeth grow in
and can even cause alignment issues. This could cause them to need braces in
Your child’s first visit will be quick and easy. Your
pediatric dentist in Dix Hills will be able to easily spot the telltale signs
of tooth decay or plaque buildup and offer treatment options or advice on how to
What Can You do to Protect Your Child From Tooth Decay?
Even though some children may be at a higher risk of
developing cavities, all children can get them. Here are some tips to help
reduce your child’s risk for tooth decay:
- Limit their sugar intake to prevent their mouth
from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Use fluoridated oral hygiene products,
especially if your community’s water isn’t fluoridated.
- Take care of your own smile by keeping up with
your daily oral hygiene routine. This will ensure that harmful bacteria won’t
get accidentally transferred to your child.
Keep the decay away by making sure your child has access to
a pediatric dentist at a young age. Being a parent isn’t easy but following
basic prevention techniques and scheduling their first checkups can be a great
start to giving your child a healthy foundation for their future smile.
About the Author
Dr. Shubha Soni-Gaur is a board-certified pediatric dentist
with a passion for providing each child that visits her with the tools they
need for a healthy smile. She enjoys engaging children and making their dental
experiences fun and exciting. She hopes that each of her little patients looks
forward to coming in for their semi-annual checkups and cleanings! For any
questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Dix Hills Family Dentistry’s website or contact