The Causes of Tooth Decay in Children
There are many risk factors when it comes to children’s tooth decay. A common cause is the frequent and prolonged exposure of your child’s teeth to sugary drinks, including milk, formula, and fruit juice. Giving you child a sugary drink at nap-time or night-time can be especially harmful because the flow of saliva decreases during sleep. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar and produce acids that attack the teeth.
Tooth decay can also be caused by bacteria passed from you to your baby through saliva by sharing spoons, testing foods before feeding them to your baby, and cleaning off a pacifier in your mouth instead of with water. These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before your baby’s primary teeth emerge, so it’s important to avoid sharing saliva with your baby from the start.
If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride internally through water, especially if he or she drinks bottled water, there can also be an increased risk for tooth decay. Your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements to help prevent tooth decay.