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Childhood Tooth Decay

Signs of Early Childhood Tooth Decay

A major part of the work that pediatric dentists do has to do with steering off early childhood tooth decay. As a parent, knowing how to identify the signs of early childhood tooth decay can mean a significant difference in comfort as it pertains to cost and treatment for your child in the unfortunate event that tooth decay becomes prevalent.

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The Importance of Going to a Pediatric Dentist

Up until a child is four years old, at least once a month a parent should lift up their child’s lips and check their child’s teeth. Look for any dull white spots or lines on the teeth. These are often found on the necks of the teeth next to the gums. Also, dark teeth are another sign of tooth decay.

If you are seeing any of these signs, it is important to go to a pediatric dentist immediately. If early childhood tooth decay is not treated quickly, your child may experience pain and infection in the long run that could mean an even higher cost and significant discomfort for them.

It can be difficult to stop giving a child milk, formula and/or juice at bedtime. We don’t recommend stopping altogether but what is recommended is to begin by using plain water instead.

What Will Be the Consequences If the Signs of Tooth Decay Are Ignored?

It is important to note that as soon as your child has their teeth, they are susceptible to tooth decay. This commonly occurs through the use of mother’s milk, formula, cow’s milk, or fruit juice – all of which have sugars in them.

Why early childhood tooth decay is such a prominent concern among pediatric dentists is because it is not uncommon for a baby to go to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice. This can all mean major consequences if the signs of tooth decay are ignored. Also, unrestricted breast-feeding at night has also been known to increase the risk of tooth decay.

This is by no means to say that a child should not receive these things or that their teeth should not come into contact with something as sugar-filled as juice. What this is saying however is to be aware of the risks involved and to know how to identify when there is a problem.


What to Do If Plain Water in a Bottle Is Not Being Accepted by the Child?

Making the switch from something a little tastier to simply water can be a difficult adjustment for a child of any age. If plain water in a bottle is not being accepted by the child, consider giving them a clean soother, a stuffed toy, or a blanket. If your child is still unable to accept this, don’t hesitate to comfort them and try again. If your child is repeatedly turning down plain water in their bottle, what one can try is to begin by watering down their child’s bottle little by little over a week or two until there is only plain water left.

Reduce the Impact of Decay

You may have to do this multiple times in order to slowly wean your child onto water.More and more young children are affected by tooth decay today than ever before. This makes it an important responsibility to ensure that early signs of tooth decay are identified and handled promptly by a skilled pediatric dentist to reduce impact on the child.

The Chapnick Dental Office in Barrie and the Toronto area provide dental care for babies and young children. Contact the dental team anytime to book an appointment.

We are a Family Friendly Practice

At Chapnik Dental Office, we provide family dentistry services. Toronto and Barrie dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick works with every child to build trust and comfort through the entire dental visit process.

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