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5 wrong eating habits that can destroy children’s teeth

1. Eating habits that can cause tooth decay in children

Tooth decay is one of the most common oral diseases in children. Tooth decay forms when bacteria and sugar in the mouth produce an acid that eats away at tooth enamel. Because bacteria are naturally present in the mouth, any child of any age can develop tooth decay.

According to the American Academy of Children’s Dentistry (AAPD) definition, early childhood caries is a condition in which one or more caries occurs (whether or not a cavity has formed), tooth loss (due to caries), carious surfaces have been filled over any primary teeth in children 17 months of age or younger. Severe early caries is the presence of any sign of smooth-surfaced caries in children under 3 years of age.

Risk factors for tooth decay for children at this age mainly stem from poor hygiene and improper eating habits, including:

Exposure to bacteria: Parents and caregivers often unknowingly pass additional cavity-causing bacteria into their children’s mouths. Specifically, the habit of serving food to a child or when a parent tries a food or drink before offering the same utensils or cups to a child.

Give your child snacks that are high in sugar and starch: Frequent snacking causes more damage to your baby’s teeth. Eating a lot of junk food increases the acidity produced by bacteria in the mouth. When there’s a lot of bacteria in the mouth, sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods like juice, candy, cookies, and chips are easily broken down into acids that can damage the outer layer of teeth.

It is necessary to immediately give up the wrong eating habits that can destroy children's teeth - Photo 2.

Children who eat a lot of candy are prone to tooth decay.

Children drink a lot of carbonated soft drinks: Carbonated soft drinks are children’s favorite drinks due to their variety of attractive colors and flavors. However, they contain a lot of sugar and citric acid in carbonated drinks increases tooth enamel erosion many times.

Give your child a sugary drink or drink before bed: This habit creates conditions for bacteria in the mouth to thrive on these sticky teeth and create acids that attack the teeth, causing mass tooth decay.

Bottle-feeding caries syndrome: Bottle-feeding caries syndrome is a multi-tooth early caries condition, common in children 2-4 years of age, characterized by progressive and rapidly spreading caries, which is related to the habit of bottle-feeding with other products. continuous and prolonged sugary products.

2. Recognizing signs of tooth decay in children

According to Dr. Nguyen Trung Nghia, Specialist in Odonto-Stomatology, Vietnam – Cuba Hospital, tooth decay can be difficult to recognize, especially in the early stages of tooth decay. However, parents should pay attention to the following signs in their children:

  • Children complain of toothache
  • Crying baby
  • Have white or black spots on your teeth
  • Sensitivity to cold foods or drinks
  • Swollen mouth
  • Children have difficulty eating, do not want to eat…

In case the child has a fever, swelling and pain, it is possible that the child has a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is a result of a tooth infection that needs to be treated promptly. At that time, parents should take their children to a dental specialist for early diagnosis and treatment.

In severe cases, when tooth decay cracks the tooth, bacteria penetrate deep into the pulp causing pulp death. At the same time, pus accumulates in the root tips of the jawbone, growing larger and causing swelling and inflammation to spread throughout the jaw. If not treated promptly, serious infections can develop in the teeth, jawbone, and surrounding tissues.

It is necessary to immediately give up the wrong eating habits that can destroy children's teeth - Photo 4.

Children with tooth decay are often uncomfortable, do not want to eat.

3. What should parents do to protect their children’s teeth?

To protect the oral health of children, according to Doctor Nguyen Trung Nghia, parents need to be aware of the importance of oral hygiene. Right from the moment a baby is born, it is necessary to take care of and clean their teeth daily to prevent tooth decay.

It is necessary to create a habit of oral hygiene for young children from birth until teething begins. Initially, the tongue is used from the time it has not yet grown, gradually as children grow up, they will create a habit of brushing their teeth from the first teeth that come in.

Children should form a habit of going to the dentist from a young age. For children from 3 years old, it is necessary to have regular check-ups and see a doctor for advice on skills and awareness of oral hygiene, to avoid the risk of tooth decay later on.

Moreover, parents are also the ones who guide and supervise their children’s hygiene. You should talk to your child every day about oral hygiene, or maybe until the child starts to change teeth (from 5-6 years old), parents will be “psychologists” to reduce their fear. when approaching the doctor before replacing the first baby teeth.

It is necessary to immediately give up the wrong eating habits that can destroy children's teeth - Photo 5.

It is advisable to have regular dental check-ups for children to detect early tooth damage.

Besides, it is necessary to give children enough nutrients, encourage a healthy diet, give up bad habits or inappropriate eating care that can lead to tooth decay in children.

Parents should note:

– Limiting children to eat foods and drinks containing a lot of sugar, especially fast foods, cakes, candies and carbonated soft drinks. High levels of starches and sugars in fast food increase the amount of acid in the mouth. These substances erode tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Avoid letting your child snack or drink sugary drinks or bottles before bedtime.

Encourage your child to drink from a cup as soon as possible to reduce the amount of sugary liquids that accumulate around the teeth.

Wipe the baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after feeding. For older children, it is necessary to teach them to brush their teeth properly after eating and before going to bed.

– Should have regular dental check-ups for children to help detect early tooth damage for timely treatment.

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