Dental decay can have many names: cavities, holes, caries. Early childhood caries is defined by the AIHW as one or more teeth that have decay, are missing because of decay, or are restored (filled) in children aged 0-5 years.
What is the cause?
high sugar intake – juices, fruit, cordial, soft drink, chocolate, lollies, biscuits
lack of oral hygiene – not brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes each brush, not flossing daily, not drinking/rinsing with water
lack of fluoride exposure – not using fluoridated toothpaste, not drinking/rinsing with fluoridated water
As soon as we’ve finished brushing, bacteria that live in our mouths form a layer around our teeth. The bacteria in this layer love eating and drinking the same things we eat and drink, especially sugar. After this, the bacteria produce acids that break down the teeth, often resulting in decay.
What should I do if my child has decay?
Bring your child in to the dental clinic for a full mouth examination with our dentists and oral health therapists. We will be able to determine the presence and severity of decay, and discuss factors that may be contributing to this. Our dental professionals can show you and your child the best way to look after their teeth.