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Reef Blog

What Do Cavities Look Like in Babies & Toddlers? Does Your Child Need Cavity Treatment?

Smile Reef

Most parents will do all they can to keep their children safe and cared for. That means regular visits to the doctor, good healthy meals, education and of course regular visits to the dentist! The first exposure that your child will have with oral hygiene is at home. It should begin well before your child can brush their own teeth. The care provider should do some oral cleaning at home and get them to a pediatric dentist when teeth start to appear. With that being said there are some things that you might be doing that could be causing your child to be at a higher risk for tooth decay and cavities.

Smile Reef Explains Baby Bottle Tooth Decay & How to Prevent it

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Of course your baby needs to have access to hydrating drinks. Mothers will use a bottle to feed their small children and babies but there are some things that you might be doing that could increase the child’s risk for cavities. If you are giving your child sugary drinks in their bottle and allowing them access to it throughout the day the child will have a larger chance of developing cavities. Small children and babies don’t take a sip and go about their day they will suck on the bottle for some time and even allow the drink to stay in their mouth. This amount of sugar will start to stick to their teeth and eventually decay their teeth.
Signs Of Tooth Decay: The signs of tooth decay in an older child or an adult are different than a baby that has baby bottle tooth decay. If you have concerns that your baby has baby bottle tooth decay you can look for small white spots on their gums. They may also appear on their teeth which is a very early sign that tooth decay has commenced. If the decay has gotten worse, the dark brown discolorations will start to appear. The baby may also start to be restless and show signs of not feeling well. They may even have swollen areas on their gums and around their teeth.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Treatment: Infants under the age of 6 months do not need a bottle when they lay down as they get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula. Older children may like the bottle more as a comfort and water is the best option. Any other drink will sit on their gums and teeth until they are awake the next morning. You also will need to take on the role of oral hygiene for the child. They are often too small to hold their toothbrush and do a good job. After the child has had a bottle you want to be sure that you take time to clean their mouth out and remove as much of the acidic and sugary substances that may be left behind.

Dentists for Infants & Older Children

Smile Reef offers pediatric dentistry to help control and treat tooth decay from baby bottles and other causes. Contact us to schedule your next appointment today!

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How Does Nutrition & Healthy Eating Affect Oral Health? Best & Worst Foods for Teeth & Gums

Smile Reef

It is important to teach our children about nutrition, not just for their growing bodies but for their teeth as well. For good tooth development, it is important that your child knows what they should be eating as well as the food that can decay their teeth. Of course, not all food should be denied to our little ones. However they should know that some food is good as well as bad for their teeth. The bad ones mean they need to brush their teeth more often and have proper oral hygiene. Smile Reef would like to share which food helps them develop healthier teeth.

How Are Fruits & Vegetables Good for Healthy Teeth & Gums?

Fruits and Vegetables have high amounts of water and contain low amounts of sugar. Some fruits and vegetables such as pears, melons, and cucumbers are low in sugar. They also have additional benefits as well. Crunchy fruit and vegetables help scrape and clean teeth as the child eats them. Keep in mind, not all fruits are great on teeth. You should limit the amount of bananas and dried fruit that have higher amounts of sugar in them. After your child has eaten some of those higher in sugar fruits, have you child brush their teeth. Remember fruits and vegetables are a great source of nutrition that shouldn’t be avoided. Nonetheless, those with high sugar content can damage the teeth if they are not brushed right away. Brushing often, especially after eating, ensures healthy teeth.

How is Calcium Good for Teeth & Bones

Calcium is great for developing healthy teeth. Some of the foods and drinks with high amounts of calcium are milk, cheese, yogurt and broccoli. These are great snacks that provide your child with enough calcium to continue their tooth development. Additionally eating cheese helps trigger the flow of saliva which helps remove food particles off of the teeth.

Foods High in Sugar Are Bad for Teeth Enamel & Oral Health

Of course, even healthier foods like raisins, dried fruits, and granola bars can have negative consequences on your child’s teeth. Naturally, cakes, candies and other treats high in sugar will also have adverse affects on your children’s teeth. Saliva has a hard time removing the sugar off of the teeth and if not attended, can lead to tooth decay. If your child consumes a large amount of sugar, have them brush their teeth afterwards. It is best to serve sweets at the end of the day after dinner. After a balanced meal your child should have more saliva to help clean their teeth. Again, brushing after each meal should become a lifelong habit.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

For little ones still on the bottle and after their final nightly bottle feeding, you should clean whatever teeth they may have. Afterwards if they demand a little something more, give them water in their bottle to prevent sugary milk or formula from setting on their teeth and gums all night long.

Pediatric Dental Check Ups

Of course regular visits to the dentist help to monitor any tooth decay. Deep cleaning will help keep their teeth clean. Make sure you help your children eat and drink the right foods and beverages to keep their body and teeth developing properly. Smile Reef encourages you to have your child visit the dentist often so we can monitor your child’s oral development. Contact us today to help keep your child’s mouth healthy.

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