Kids with rotten teeth are more common than you think. In fact, 41.7% of children aged 5-10 and 23.5% of children aged 6-14 have dental caries.
Our modern diet consisting of fizzy drinks and sweet treats is a disaster for kids’ dental health—leading to tooth decay and gum disease. But what can you do to preserve your child’s teeth? Read on as we explain rotten teeth, their causes, and how to prevent the problem.
What Are Rotten Teeth?
Rotten teeth are a symptom of tooth decay, which is the destruction of tooth enamel—the hard outer surface of a tooth. Tooth decay creates holes in the teeth (cavities) that can harbour harmful bacteria that erode the healthy tooth tissue.
What Causes Tooth Decay in a Child’s Teeth?
Tooth decay is primarily caused by bacteria that typically live in the mouth. Certain foods that contain sugars and carbohydrates (that contain sugars and starches) coat the teeth. Acid-producing bacteria feed off these foods, producing a substance called plaque that sticks to the teeth. This combination of acid, saliva, food and bacteria erodes tooth enamel and causes cavities.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay in My Child?
All kids have bacteria in their mouths, but you can take steps to prevent tooth decay.
- As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, start getting them used to an oral hygiene routine. Brush the tooth, gums and tongue with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride strengthens teeth to help prevent cavities from forming. You can always use toothpaste explicitly designed for children rather than adult toothpaste.
- Schedule an appointment with a dentist to monitor your kid’s dental health and get them accustomed to visiting the dentist.
- After the age of two, start flossing your child’s teeth daily.
- Ensure your child eats a well-balanced diet and limit their intake of foods and snacks high in sugars, including crisps, sweets, cakes and fizzy drinks.
- If your child uses a bottle at bedtime, fill it with water as the sugars in juice or formula contain sugars.
What are the Treatments for Kids with Rotten Teeth?
Modern kids’ dental health is about preventing rotten teeth, and several treatments are available to help with this.
Sealants are plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces in your child’s back teeth. They form a protective layer and stop food from getting stuck and causing the decay of rotten teeth. The process is harmless, takes only a few minutes, and lasts many years.
Fluoride gel is applied twice a year directly to the teeth. It effectively protects against rotten teeth when used in addition to regular brushing. The gel is a concentrated fluoride application that strengthens the enamel and prevents decay.
Fillings (Direct Restorations)
Fillings are essential in preventing rotten teeth. The treatment removes a tooth’s decayed sections and fills the cavity with filling material.
Severely rotten teeth may require other restorations, such as inlays, onlays, crowns and bridges, to save the teeth and ensure functionality.
Guidance on oral hygiene
We provide information such as demonstration to parents and children about brushing and floss techniques.
We help families to develop skills and habits that last a lifetime. This is the ultimate prevention again tooth decay.
The Bottom Line
Kids with rotten teeth can be a thing of the past. We can help to look after your child’s teeth helping them last as long as possible. Schedule an appointment today with the friendly, experienced team at Dental Excellence by calling on (02) 6188 7293.
AIHW: Oral Health and Dental Care in Australia
Colgate: What is good oral hygiene?