When it comes to your child’s oral health, prevention is key. Yet, many parents are unaware that cavities can affect children under the age of five. In fact, cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease and can cause significant problems for young patients if not addressed in a timely manner.
Let’s take a closer look at cavities in young children and when you should see your pediatric dentist.
Is It Unusual for Children Under Age Five To Have Cavities?
The answer is no — it is not unusual for children under five years old to have cavities, unfortunately.
Tooth decay can start as soon as teeth erupt from the gums, which typically begins around six months of age. Since baby teeth are less dense than adult teeth, they are more prone to decay if proper oral care isn’t maintained.
Additionally, because young children don’t always brush their own teeth, keeping up with regular brushing can be a challenge for caregivers as well.
Risk Factors & Prevention Strategies
A few common risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing cavities in young children include infrequent brushing or flossing and consuming sugary drinks or snacks throughout the day.
Of course, genetics also plays a role in cavity development; some people naturally produce more saliva than others, creating an environment that’s less conducive for bacteria growth and tooth decay.
Again, cavities can affect anyone at any age — even those under the age of five!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent tooth decay in young children such as…
- Maintaining good oral hygiene habits (e.g., brushing twice daily)
- Avoiding sugary snacks or drinks throughout the day
- Leading by example for your children
- Reading children’s books about oral health and hygiene with them
- Scheduling regular dental cleaning and check-ups
- And more!
When To See Your Pediatric Dentist
It’s important to monitor your child’s oral health from an early age and make sure they get regular dental check-ups so any potential problems can be identified quickly and treated effectively.
Generally speaking, you should begin seeing your pediatric dentist within six months of when your child’s first tooth erupts or by their first birthday — whichever comes first.
That way, you can ensure that your child’s teeth stay healthy and cavity-free!
Additionally, it’s important to visit your pediatric dentist regularly so any potential issues with your child’s teeth can be identified early on and addressed accordingly. And who better to visit than your locally-trusted team of board-certified pediatric dentists?
We offer a warm welcome, a beautiful smile, and years of expertise designed with your family’s comfort in mind! To schedule your next dental appointment, reach out to our team today!