Tooth Decay in Children – A Common Dental Problem
Children’s teeth are strong, but they are not as strong as adult teeth. This is the major reason for tooth decay being most common in children.
Tooth decay is simply the bacteria on teeth turning into acid which affects the enamel. This occurs often because we eat certain foods or drinks which contain sugar content.
Tooth decay is one of the most widespread health problems in the UK. About 50% of adults in the UK suffer from tooth decay, and about 65% of children aged between 8-15 years suffer from tooth decay as well.
There is nothing to be afraid of with tooth decay though. It is preventable and also curable. But people need to know how to avoid letting children get affected by this problem; parents and caretakers need awareness.
Causes and Consequences
The causes of tooth decay are basic and straightforward.
Everyone’s mouth is filled with bacteria which combine with food particles we eat, resulting in the emergence of a sticky film or layer called plaque that builds up on your teeth.
When you eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates, the plaque causes them to produce more acid. This acid develops inside the tooth, resulting in a major problem.
A hole is formed below the surface of the tooth, and then a cavity is formed. This may also spread into the dentin layers underneath the enamel. This may completely affect the nerves and result in the loss of a tooth if left untreated.
This tooth decay differs from person to person. Some people may get affected by this problem, but that does not mean they will have to suffer. Their good physical health conditions can save their teeth from decaying completely.
Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment
The main symptoms of tooth decay are a sore tooth or an overly sensitive tooth. Luckily, this tooth decay can be prevented altogether by following some of these basic techniques:
- Go for frequent medical check-ups
- Wash your mouth after having food or snacks
- Brush twice a day
- Examine your mouth using mirrors
- Avoid consuming sugary foods
- Encourage children to eat vegetables, milk, and water
Treatment totally depends on how bad the tooth is affected. It can be fixed with fluoride if the condition is mild. But at a certain level, consulting a dentist is the only way to cure this problem. A dentist can fix or replace the affected tooth with a new one. The child may also have to undergo root canal. In very extreme cases, the dentist will have to remove the decaying tooth. These measures are taken in order to avoid the spread of tooth decay.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do your best to protect your own teeth and your children’s teeth from this highly avoidable condition.