• laurenjanowiecki

Toddlers, treats, & Teeth.

Updated: Jul 25, 2018

Most parents of young children (ages 2-10) ask us the question "Should I take my child to the dentist? If so, when?"

The answer is YES!!! Now!

According to Colgate Life stages report by Christine DiMaria, Tooth decay isn't a problem that affects only adults. Toddler tooth decay is a concern for parents because 42 percent of children ages 2 to 11 develop a cavity in their primary teeth, reports the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Nearly 28 percent of children ages 2 to 5 develop at least one cavity. This may lead a parent to wonder what causes tooth decay, how to prevent it and how to treat it.

What Causes Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Tooth decay occurs in toddlers when bacteria within the mouth begin to eat away at the primary teeth. Tooth decay is also known as a cavity or dental caries. Inadequate dental care and not brushing your child's teeth enough can be causes of decay.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a common cause of toddler tooth decay is going to bed with a bottle. This particular condition is known as baby bottle tooth decay. The milk or juice from the bottle can sit in your tot's mouth all night and create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria

Unhealthy eating habits contribute to tooth decay, too. Allowing your child to suck on candy for prolonged periods or to eat a lot of sugary foods will play a role.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

If your child consumes too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, they could be at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable.

To prevent tooth decay in toddlers, you shouldn't let your child go to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup of milk or juice. If you give your child a drink before bed or to help him go to sleep, always choose water. The AAPD recommends that children drink milk or sugary drinks quickly instead of sipping them slowly. This reduces the amount of time during which teeth are exposed to decay-causing sugars from the drinks in a bottle or sippy cup.

Make sure you brush and floss your child's teeth daily, and be sure to avoid sugary f