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Childhood caries show up most often on your child’s upper front teeth and are an early warning sign of developing cavities. These white spots near the gum line — if left untreated — develop into cavities. At their worst, these white spots turn into brown spots, holes, or broken teeth if not treated in a timely fashion and will require more extensive dental procedures to fix the issue.
How To Prevent Childhood Cavities
Luckily, there are a few ways to preventing caries and cavities in your children. The important piece of information to keep in mind is that preventative measures are the best line of defense — so don’t wait until you see those white spots near the gum line to start implementing these oral health life hacks.
- Don’t send your child to bed with a bottle or milk, baby formula, juice, or other sugary beverages. The sugars within these liquids are what bacteria thrive and multiple on. Instead, opt for a bottle full of water.
- Prevent your child from drinking from a bottle throughout the day. By allowing them to drink sugary beverages throughout the day, the teeth and gums are being constantly exposed to these sugars that cause plaque buildup and caries.
- Give your child a balanced diet that is low in sugars and starches which in turn can cause caries to develop. Always check the ingredients list of store-bought baby formulas or baby food. Better yet, if you have the time to make food at home, at least you will know exactly what is going into the recipe.
- Gently clean your child’s gums with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Not only will this instill good oral hygiene habits when they’re older, but also prevent caries in the future. Cleaning the gums and newly formed baby teeth prevent gum disease and plaque buildup.
- Take your child to see a pediatric dentist so they can keep an eye out for any developing abnormalities. Our pediatric dentists in the Chicago area can also provide insight and wisdom on how to clean your child’s teeth and gums. We welcome new patients as early as age 1! The sooner your child heads to our dental offices for routine checkups the better as this prevents gum disease and tooth decay.
Lastly, baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. These teeth are needed for speech development as well as eating and any cavities on baby teeth should be addressed with utmost importance. Contact our Chicagoland area dental offices today to schedule an appointment for your child.