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Childhood Caries: Dental Decay is a Real Problem

March 17, 2015

Filed under: Children's Dentist — Tags: , — pontevedra @ 9:34 pm

Do you have children? If so, have you spent the time to properly educate yourself about your children’s teeth? At Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry we dedicate ourselves to the education of everyone within reach about oral health issues. We utilize our blog as a method to provide that education. Feel free to visit our past blog topics to learn more about a variety of oral health topics. Today we would like to discuss childhood caries.

What is Caries?

Caries is the technical term for tooth decay. Caries is caused by bacteria, their associated byproducts, and the response from our immune system to that environment. This decay eventually creates a cavity. If treated early, a filling will suffice to remove the day and restore the tooth. If neglected, caries can cause irreversible damage to the pulp tissue and that can lead to more aggressive treatment or extractions.

Prevalence of Caries in Children

According to the CDC, about 20% of children 5-11 years old have untreated caries. Tooth decay is still the #1 chronic disease of childhood. It is 4 times more prevalent than childhood obesity and 20 times more common than diabetes in children.

What Can Be Done to Prevent this Problem?

Prevention of childhood caries begins with the parents. The bacteria involved in dental decay is transmissible. It is important for parents to obtain treatment for any untreated dental decay. Diet also plays a crucial role in preventing decay. Feel free to visit the resources at the bottom of this page for more information.

Finally, home care must be considered. Many parents do not know that gums should be cleaned before teeth appear in the mouth, excessive fluoride ingestion must be avoided, and there is a specific manner and amount of time that teeth should be brushed. It is important to note that regular dental visits should begin by the child’s first birthday. The dentist should see the child on a regular basis from there on out. This allows the parents to ensure that the child is developing correctly. Dental problems are extremely preventable, especially in childhood.

If you would like more information regarding these topics, feel free to visit our past blog topics on “How to Teach Your Children Proper Oral Health Habits”, “Oral Health Care for Your Children”, or our website services section regarding pediatric dentistry.  In addition, the American Dental Association has provided some terrific information on Early Childhood Caries.

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