How Common Are Cavities in 4-Year-Olds?

How Common Are Cavities in 4-Year-Olds?

September 2, 2022

Cavities in toddlers and babies are the most common. The main reason behind the development is the parents do not follow regular dental visits. Dental professionals recommend setting the appointment by age or as soon as the first tooth erupts.

Tooth decay results in pain and loss of affected teeth. It also significantly impacts the child’s speech, overall health, and development.

How Does the Decay Occur?

More than one in every four children has at least one cavity by four. Experts also claim that 20% of children between the 2-5 age group may have untreated cavities.

Decay starts with mutans streptococcus. These germs generate acid that erodes the structure of teeth. It also forms a yellow film known as plaque.

Once the region without calcium gets large, the tooth surface collapses, leading to cavities. Cavities in the babies also lead to difficulty in eating and discomfort.

What Causes Cavities in Toddlers and Children?

Below are the common causes of dental caries:

  • Genetics

Genetic factor also plays a crucial role in causing cavities in toddlers and kids. For example, few children have minimal saliva production, weak enamel, etc., making them more prone to cavities.

  • Little to Zero Dental Hygiene

Not flossing and brushing regularly or incorrectly can result in cavities. Also, few parents fail to schedule dental appointments routinely. It lets sugar accumulate on the teeth and convert it into acid. Acids attack teeth regardless of size after having a meal or snack.

  • Dietary Options

Remember, acids, foods, and saliva result in the formation of cavities. Frequent consumption of sugary, sweet, and starchy foods throughout the day puts children at a high risk of decay. These include cakes, candies, chips, crackers, ice creams, juices, cereals, etc. These foods turn acidic from the bacteria in the mouth. The acids break down the enamel and cause cavities.

  • Use of Bottle

Toddlers and babies that sleep with bottles, use them as a pacifier, or drink juice using bottles are also prone to cavities in the middle two front teeth.

How Can I Help Prevent Dental Decay/Cavities in My Child’s Teeth?

Here is how you can help:

  • Avoid Sugary Drinks and Foods

Milk formula, fruit juice (even the diluted form), and breast milk coat teeth in sugar. When it sits there for 10 or 12 hours, it increases dental caries in children.

According to AAPD, taking your little one away from the bottle for 14 months prevents tooth decay. Also, motivate your kid to drink from a regular cup as soon as possible. It will lower the amount of liquid accumulating around the teeth.

  • Consider Fluoride

Make sure your children only drink fluoridated water. Check with the municipal water supply board or the dentist in Murrieta, CA, for this. You can also speak to the pediatrician about fluoride supplements.

But make sure that if your kid is under 2 or 3, avoid fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a vital part of dental health. It restricts the production of corrosive acid and restores calcium to decaying teeth.

  • Limit Sugar

Bacteria require sugar to thrive. Constant exposure of teeth to sugar prevents the natural tooth cleanser (saliva) from doing its job. So, make sure you tame a sweet tooth to prevent decay.

  • Schedule a Dental Checkup at the Earliest 

One of the excellent ways to keep your baby’s teeth cavity-free is to schedule a dental checkup and professional cleanings with the pediatric dentist no later than the first birthday. The pediatric dental professional evaluates the risk of forming cavities. They also provide tips to prevent other oral diseases.

  • Get Treatment at the Earliest

Another thing you can do is take care of your baby’s teeth by taking treatment at the earliest at the Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics of Jackson. Getting a white cavity filling can help. Dental professionals will also apply a protective fluoride varnish to the teeth. They will use protective coatings known as dental sealants to prevent decay.

  • Take Care of Your Own Dental Health

Do not share toothbrushes or utensils with your toddler or baby if you have a history of dental issues. It will help you in lowering the mutants in your mouth.

  • Adhere to a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

Once your baby turns three months old, wipe the gums using a damp and clean washcloth after every feed. As the teeth come, brush the teeth with a baby toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste.