Many new parents think that the practice of brushing their baby’s gums or single tooth is just to get them used to the feeling of a toothbrush. In fact, pediatric dental studies have focused on the presence of cavity-causing bacteria in preschool and kindergarten students until recently. Now dental researchers have found these bacteria in the saliva of even toothless babies. Early oral care in infants may contribute to cavity prevention once teeth do erupt, as the soft tissues in the mouth may harbor the bacteria that cause cavities.
Cavities are the most prevalent infectious disease in children in the United States, especially in children from lower socio-economic status. The way to prevent cavities in young children is to educate their parents and caregivers in the importance of avoiding sugary snacks and drinks, and diligent oral hygiene–even if they put up a fight! Getting your child in a routine of brushing twice a day will prevent cavities now, as well as set them up for success in the future.
Be sure sure to ask us if you have any questions regarding oral hygiene for children of any age–or yourself!