Teeth of a child that has just grown or what is called baby teeth are temporary teeth that will later be replaced by permanent teeth. However, we certainly still have to maintain the health and hygiene of milk teeth because the condition of baby teeth can affect the permanent teeth of children later. Tooth decay is a normal thing to happen. The damage that is often experienced by baby teeth is the appearance of caries in the teeth which can be caused by the following:
- Bacterial infection transmitted from parents
Parents who have poor dental health can transmit bacteria to children through food utensils that are used simultaneously, such as spoons, forks and drinking utensils.
- Tooth decay can also occur if the teeth and gums are continuously exposed to food and drink other than water. Artificial sugar or natural sugar from food and beverages can trigger tooth decay due to acids produced by bacteria from the sugar content.
- Giving formula milk, juice, or drinks that contain sugar to children at night and letting them use the pacifier bottles until they fall asleep, can damage your child's teeth. Although children fall asleep more easily by drinking milk through a bottle, it is better to replace the contents of the bottle with plain water.
Tooth decay in children does not need to make parents too worried if the parents know what to do if the child's teeth start to have problems. To get treatment, of course, your first step is to visit the nearest dentist or dentist you trust.
However, it is also important to note how parents can take precautions so that milk tooth decay does not occur again. The following are preventive measures that can be done that we summarize from the American Academy of Pediatrics;
- Taking care of your dental health first is certainly no less important. You can perform incentive treatment even while you are still carrying your child.
- For babies who are under one year old or have not yet teething, parents need to clean the child's mouth and gums with a baby washcloth, while for babies over one year old or one tooth has appeared, then you need to start brushing the child's teeth twice. a day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste as much as no bigger than corn kernels.
- Do not let the child fall asleep with a bottle or food in his mouth.
- Do not use a bottle or teat glass for a long period of time. If the child wants it, it is better to fill it with water.
- Water generally contains natural fluoride which is good for teeth. However, you should make sure that the water you consume contains fluoride.
- Teach your child to use a regular glass as early as possible to prevent the habit of sticking out of bottles or nipples.
- Limit consumption of sweet or sticky foods like candy, jelly, cookies, etc. Also teach your child to immediately clean leftovers with the tongue.
- Do not give juice to babies under 6 months of age. When the child is more than 6 months old, just limit it by not giving more than 1 glass of juice per day.
Make visits to the dentist before the age of one year, and routine checks every 6 months. Apart from being the prevention of tooth decay, routine to dentist from an early age it will also help the growth of children's teeth so that they are well controlled.