Toddler Tooth Decay Still a Big Problem

Monday, July 25th, 2011, 7:33 pm

Dentists and pediatricians are working together to fight one of early childhood’s biggest health problems – tooth decay. The University of Washington is holding a symposium on ways that doctors and dentists can work together to keep kids teeth healthy.

This may not seem like a big problem but while most of America is getting fewer cavities, Dr. Joel Berg says “For preschoolers it’s actually gotten worse in the last couple of decades. There are more cavities, there are more kids coming into emergency rooms with swollen faces, because they have an infection that’s gone beyond the tooth.”

Regular visits for children are important starting when they reach their first birthday. Unfortunately many children don’t see a dentist until they are 6 or older which is why dentists have been training pediatricians to look for tooth decay. These toddlers typically see their pediatrician regularly for shots and minor illness during their early years.

Why are children getting so many cavities? Blame the sugar! Toddlers are constantly exposed to fruit juice, fruit leathers, crackers, even milk in a sippy cup can cause problems if children have access to it all day long. Give the little ones water to drink if they insist on carrying a sippy cup everywhere they go and make sure they eat healthy snacks. Plan on visiting the dentist early with your child, this will make them comfortable with the process and when problems are found early they can be treated easily.

As your child gets older you may discover your child needs orthodontic treatment. Braces do more than give your child straight, beautiful teeth — they also ensure that your child’s teeth are spaced correctly so that they can keep them clean and cavity free. Braces also make sure that your child’s bite is healthy and correct which can help them avoid painful TMJ problems later in life.

If you have questions about the dental health of your children please contact our Toccoa office today at 706-886-9439.

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Category: cavities, orthodontics

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