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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tooth Decay (Caries) In Young Children

What is Dental Caries?
Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes rapid tooth decay in children. This infection can be incredibly destructive and cause irreversible damage if not caught in time. Basically, the caries infection causes cavities to form and damage teeth in a short amount of time. Thankfully, if the dental caries condition is caught before deep cavities are formed, the infection can be treated and the condition reversed.

Causes of Caries
Bacteria hiding on tooth surfaces are responsible for causing the acid that results in a rapid break down of tooth enamel. Carbohydrate or sugar-rich foods are where these bacteria originate. Basically, if the food or drink particles are not rinsed properly, these bacteria can do damage. The Mutans streptococci is the bacteria that causes dental caries.

Who is at Risk?
  • Children who eat or drink carbohydrate or sugar-rich food or drink frequently
  • Children who drink from bottles or sippy cups before bed
  • Children with cavities
  • Children with low fluoride levels
  • Children with poor oral hygiene
  • Children with an unhealthy diet

Frequent intake of sugary sodas are known to have negative effects on children's teeth, including increasing their risk of developing dental caries.

How to Protect Your Child
It is crucial that children receive dental care from an experienced pediatric dentist at an early age in order to avoid the destructive effects of dental caries.
Your child's first dental evaluation should occur within 6 months of the eruption of the first primary tooth.

If you'd like to learn more about the effects of tooth decay on children, send me an e-mail.

posted by Patti at 3:30 PM


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