Can babies get tooth decay?
Although it often comes as a surprise to many patients who come to the clinic, and to parents in general, no tooth is free from caries, not even the first few teeth. milk teethThese usually appear around the age of 6 months and will eventually fall off to make way for the permanent ones between the ages of 6 and 8 years.
In fact, the caries in babies They progress quite quickly, so it is important to have them checked as often as indicated. These cavities usually first manifest themselves by the appearance of white spots, which leave a dull, chalky appearance on the most visible part of the tooth. These occur due to the demineralisation of enamel in the areas where it remains porous and can change to yellow, brown or brownish colours as they perforate the enamel (the hardest layer of the tooth, which protects it) and leave the tooth with a marked relief and some sensitivity.
Causes of tooth decay in infants
The most frequent causes of the appearance of caries at this early age are:
- Frequent use of foods high in sugarwhether it be ready-made infant milks, industrial cereals or cocoa powders or shakes.
- Abusing behaviours such as wetting the dummy in honey or other sugary liquids.
- Forgetting the baby's oral hygiene at night after bottle or breast feeding.
- Extend breastfeeding beyond the recommended breastfeeding age. two years and combined with sugary food and/or poor oral hygiene.
- Abuse of medicines containing sugar.
How to prevent tooth decay in babies
1. Brush baby twice a day with 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste from the appearance of the first milk tooth.
2. Lift the lip and remove breastfeeding or food residues with a wet gauze pad or thimble after each feeding as part of the oral hygiene regimen.
3. Only use the bottle for water or unsweetened liquids.
4. Prevent the family from transmitting the cariogenic bacteria present in their saliva towards babies: avoid blowing on their spoon, kissing their mouth... etc. And caries is a communicable disease.
5. The WHO indicates that children under 2 years of age no should consume sugary foods.
Brushing guidelines for babies
When it comes to brushing our baby's teeth correctly, we recommend using the correct amount of toothpaste, which will depend directly on the amount of toothpaste used. ageas shown in this image:
As for the brush to be used, it should be specific for children under 1 year old, because its head is rounder and smaller, with very soft bristles and a thick handle that improves the grip.
How baby tooth decay is treated
- Always keep yourself informed and follow the advice of your paediatric dentist in matters of dental hygiene for children. This is essential in order to find the cause that caused them for the first time and prevent new ones from appearing or the existing ones from continuing to grow.
- If the caries is at an early stage, where there is only demineralisation of the enamel (the white spot), a protective layer of locally applied fluoride/calcium/phosphate is brushed on top to remineralising the enamel and seal the pores that have been created. In this way it may not change colour, but it will look brighter and we will see how healthy the tooth appears.
- If it has penetrated the enamel, we will apply fluoride, but in addition we will need to fill the missing structure with sealsThe use of fluorine-releasing materials is preferred.
- In the most extreme cases, where decay has progressed and most of the tooth structure has been lost, larger fillings, such as acetate or zirconium crowns, will be necessary and may even affect the tooth structure. nervewhich would require more complex treatments.
The best way to be sure that our child is in an adequate state of oral health at such a young age is to attend regular dental appointments, where they will carry out complete check-ups and make sure that everything is going as it should or, on the contrary, they will guide us on how we can solve any problems or prevent them from happening again. If, despite this, you have any doubts about the proper hygiene that a young child should maintain, or simply want to make an appointment to come to our clinic, at Vélez and Lozano we will be delighted to help you. You can contact us on 968 28 46 28 or via this email address section of our website.