Though we don’t often think about it, toddlers as young as 9 or 10 months of age can be infected with cavity producing bacteria, which can cause tooth decay. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that almost 20% of children 2-5 have untreated cavities, and the number rises in children over 6.
Tooth decay, if left undetected or untreated in toddlers can result in poor eating habits, delayed speech development, and develop an unhealthy environment for permanent tooth development. Healthy baby teeth lead to healthier permanent teeth later in life.
Mothers who practice preventive dental and oral care during prenatal and postnatal periods can better protect her child from decay. Parents and care providers should not prop a bottle for their baby in a crib or car seat, abstain from nighttime bottle or breastfeeding, and clean their child’s teeth with a cloth or soft baby toothbrush as soon as they erupt.
Pediatric dentists counsel taking your child to his initial dental appointment when the first tooth appears. He will be examined and you can commence talking about dental sealants and other preventative measures.
“Untreated Dental Caries in Children,” CDC.gov, February 9, 2011,http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsUntreatedCavitiesKids/, accessed on February 6, 2012
Contact Kernagis Dental Excellence:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):