Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Family from Tooth Decay

As you might imagine, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has a lot to say about tooth decay, too. You might be surprised to know that milk, breast milk and formula as well as fruit juice and other sweet liquids are high in sugar. According to the AAPD, children who are exposed to these sugary liquids for long periods of time are at risk of suffering from tooth decay or, as the AAPD calls it, Early Childhood Caries (ECC).

“Children who are frequently exposed to sugary liquids—such as milk, breast milk, formula, fruit juice, and other sweet liquids—for long periods of time run a great risk of suffering from Early Childhood Caries.”

The AAPD defines ECC as, “the presence of one or more decayed teeth, missing teeth (resulting from caries), or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child 6 years old or younger.” It is an infectious disease that can quickly spread, they say.

Here are some recommendations from the AAPD to protect your child from the risk of ECC:

  • Visit a pediatric dentist no later than the child’s first birthday.
  • Wipe infant’s gums with a clean, wet gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding.
  • Begin brushing infant’s teeth as soon as first tooth appears twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Parents should use a ‘smear’ of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than two years of age.
  • Twice-daily use of your child’s primary teeth has benefits greater than once-daily brushing.
  • Infants should not be put to sleep with a bottle of milk, formula, sugar water, or fruit juice.
  • If an infant falls asleep while feeding, the teeth should be cleaned before placing the child in bed.

If you would like more information on how to protect your children from the epidemic of tooth decays, you can always turn to Triangle Pediatric Dentistry. Practicing what we like to call >kid dentistry requires more than just an expert knowledge of the types of trauma that can affect primary teeth. Our Raleigh pediatric dentistry practice offers a caring, compassionate and comfortable atmosphere. We never want your children to dread a visit to the dentist.