Despite trying hard to maintain oral and dental health of your child if you find a cavity in your child’s tooth, it means something is not right. Regular brushing and eating less sweets are definitely helpful but your baby may still get a cavity in spite of following these measures. Babies are more prone to cavities as compared to adults. Why? We reached out to Dr. Arundeep Singh, Principal at Manav Rachna Dental College to find the answer.
“There are multiple reasons why children are more susceptible to caries. One of the main contributing factors is the inclusion of added sugar in almost all food products available in the market. Sugar is a major contributor to caries in children. In India, a lack of awareness of dental and oral hygiene among parents or guardians also contributes to dental caries in children. Unlike other countries, India does not have a stringent water fluoridation facility which makes children rely on fluoridated toothpaste to compensate for the lack of fluoride in their diet. The presence of many kinds of herbal toothpaste overshadows the fluoridated toothpaste available on the market,” says Dr. Singh.
What causes cavities in babies?
There are numerous factors that influence dental problems in babies.
Oral bacterial infection
Cavities or tooth decay is actually an oral bacterial disease. There are bacteria present in our mouth both good and bad. When harmful bacteria increase in mouth, these release acid which causes damage and triggers decay. The reason why sugar is said to be bad for teeth is because it acts as a catalyst for tooth decay. Harmful bacteria feeds on sugar and multiply. In a nutshell, the more sugar you eat, the greater risk of cavities will be there.
Not just white sugar but sugary drinks and salty foods also cause cavities. If your child like to have candies and fries, try not to feed them frequently. The more such foods they consume, the more susceptible they are for cavities. If your child gets cavities often, consult a paediatrician to find the root cause.
Foods like white bread, chips, etc. have fermentable carbohydrates that are broken down into sugars and feed bacteria. However, not just frequency of consumption but also the time of eating matters. The more time such food is present in the mouth of the child, the greater risk of developing cavities is there. So, it is best to make them consume that food quickly in lesser time.
While there are several reasons for tooth decay in babies, parents should be watchful towards dietary habits and oral hygiene practices of their kids especially if they get cavities often. Proper education on oral and dental hygiene and awareness among parents and guardians will help reduce the incidence of caries. Additionally, diet counselling for the children and parents will control the intake of sugar consumed through their diet. A visit to a pediatric dentist by the parents when the first set of teeth appears in a child will help them understand the requirements of a child for proper oral hygiene care.
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