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Understanding Early Childhood Cavities

Toddlers are a handful to deal with in of themselves. If you add early childhood cavities to the mix, it can be a 'mouthful'! If you're wondering what to do about the black and brown stains, bad breath, and teeth pain that your child experiences, continue reading to learn more.

What are Early Childhood Cavities?
Pretty much self-explanatory, early childhood cavities are cavities that occur during early childhood. As soon as children first develop their baby teeth otherwise known as milk teeth, some of these cavities may develop. The signs and symptoms that your child may experience include the following:

Initial white spots: The first sign of dental cavities on children appear as white spots. When these symptoms are not noted, it can quickly progress to other, more obvious manifestation of cavities.
Brown or black stains on teeth: The brown stains indicate that bacteria may have entered the bottom part of the tooth. This is the second sign of cavities.
Cavitation: As the colour becomes darker, the next sign is the formation of cavities, small indentations, or holes in the tooth.
Teeth pain: Children may complain of constant teeth pain especially when taking cold or sweet food. Pain can also persist even without eating.

What Causes Early Childhood Cavities?
There are many reasons why children develop these cavities at an early onset. Some causes are preventable, and others are unavoidable risk factors. It is possible that cavities may develop due to the following: 
• Poor oral hygiene 
• Diet consisting of many sweets 
• Dry mouth 
• Water supply with no fluoride 
• High levels of oral bacteria

When children are exposed to a diet high in carbohydrates and sweets, combined with lack of instruction for oral hygiene, these cavities may develop at an early age. It is important to teach children the importance of caring for their teeth to improve overall health.

What are the Negative Effects of Early Childhood Cavities?
There are varying effects of early childhood cavities, ranging from minor to major ones. When left untreated, early childhood cavities can bring the following complications:

Ongoing tooth pain: Ongoing tooth pain can lower one's overall quality of life. This can cause discomfort and even a loss of interest in daily activities.
Tooth abscess: Tooth abscess or a major form of infection can be life-threatening. When an abscess develops and the infections pass through the bloodstream, there is a possibility of sepsis or organ infection.
Difficulty in speaking and eating: Infections and pain may cause children to have difficulties in speaking and eating, which are the primary functions of the oral area.

Despite these negative effects, childhood cavities can easily be prevented. The Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre located in South Ottawa is here to help.

Understanding Early Childhood Cavities: Tips on Prevention

Brush Your Child's Teeth Twice a Day
To prevent the accumulation of bacteria, the Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre, located in South Ottawa, recommends that you brush your child's teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste. A toothpaste containing the active ingredient fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and bacteria from building up. You may also want to use a brush with fine yet soft bristles that are gentle on your child's teeth but can also reach small areas at the same time.

Use Dental Floss at The Age of 2 And Onwards
Once your child reaches 2 years old, it is advisable to use dental floss to reach the spaces between the teeth. You can gradually teach your child to do this task on her own. Flossing can be done at least once a day to prevent food particles from developing into cavities.

Ensure a Balanced Diet for Your Child
A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential for your child to avoid cavities. Food that is high in processed sugar and carbohydrates accumulate and cause bacteria to multiply. One of the great ways to help lessen the chance of your child getting cavities is to reduce sugary snacks and instead provide fruits and vegetables.

In addition to keeping up a daily healthy routine, make sure to regularly visit the Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre in Ottawa for checkups and treatments. Contact us today to book an appointment and learn more ways to better your child's oral and overall health.

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