Did you know that children as young as one or two years of age can have tooth decay?
Tooth decay can start as soon as teeth come into the mouth (from six months of age ). A common cause of tooth decay in babies and young children is prolonged feeding from a bottle at night, if the bottle contains milk, formula, juice or flavoured water.
To prevent tooth decay in babies and young children:
• Don’t let your child sleep with a bottle in his mouth.
• If necessary, have plain water only in his nap or bedtime bottle.
• Discontinue bottle or breast feeding by first birthday – encourage him to drink from a beaker or cup.
• Wipe or brush your baby’s teeth after the last feed of the day.
Babies like to suck for comfort but long term sucking of thumbs or soothers can affect the position of teeth. Encourage your child to stop all habits by 18 months of age. Never dip a soother in sugar, honey, or anything sweet before giving it to your child.
Sugar is the main cause of tooth decay. Sugar comes in many forms — it is also called sucrose, fructose, glucose, and maltose. It is not just the amount of sugar in food or drink that causes damage to children’s teeth – it is the number of times they have sugar.
Did you know that honey, raisins, and ketchup are high in sugar? Use seldom and sparingly.
For further information on Babysmile dental care or to make an appointment contact Dr Dympna Daly, paediatric dentist, third floor, Park House Hotel, Forster Street, Galway, phone (091 ) 565181, email [email protected]