Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention - A Pound of Cure

Tooth decay is an infectious disease and everyone is at risk of developing it. In fact, it is 5 times more common than asthma in children 5-17 years old.

In children, the caries themselves are not the greatest threat. A cavity, when caught early enough, can be treated. It's the side effects that accompany the decay that are the biggest concern. Evidence shows that caries in baby teeth may affect the growth of the adult ones. Caries can also lead to infection, pain, abscesses, chewing problems, malnutrition and gastrointestinal disorders. It can affect speech and articulation and even contribute to childhood obesity.

The good news is that caries can almost always be prevented! A proper diet as well as a good oral health home care routine are all it takes to combat this highly infectious and detrimental disease. These good habits begin with parents and, even more importantly, they begin at a very early age.

Before your baby even has teeth you should wipe their gums with a clean, wet cloth daily. Not only will this remove some of the bacteria in your baby's mouth but it will also get her accustomed to having her teeth brushed later. Try not to get in the habit of sending your baby to bed with a bottle or sippy cup but if you do make sure that it only ever contains water. Nothing more. Once teeth are present be sure to brush them at least twice a day. Start flossing as soon as your child's teeth touch each, side by side.

For a proper diet you need simply to follow the Ontario food guide. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. Encourage your child to drink fruit juice quickly as opposed to sipping on it all day long. Water is the best drink to sip on throughout the day.

To find out more great and useful information please visit It's a fantastic resource for all your dental health needs.