There is a growing concern amongst dentists nationwide that parents aren’t taking the necessary steps to prevent tooth decay in their children. While it is a common issue, parents simply can’t overlook childhood caries or baby tooth decay due to the fact that their teeth will fall out eventually and mature into adult teeth. The fact of the matter is, early childhood caries increase the risk of crooked or damaged adult teeth.

One of the most common risk factors for tooth decay in children is frequent or prolonged exposure to sugary drinks. Another common cause is exposure to fermentable carbohydrates. This includes high sugary foods as well as bananas, bread, breakfast cereals, crackers, and milk.

In order to prevent early tooth decay, the ADA recommends scheduling your child’s first dental appointment within six month of the appearance of the first tooth, and no later than the first birthday. Practicing good early hygiene at a young age is also highly recommended. From ages three to six, you are able to brush your child’s teeth with a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Be sure to check your child’s teeth periodically. The more you know, the easier it will be to prevent frequent dental issues in your child’s future.