Doctor's Answers (1)
You are right to be concerned because unfortunately, tooth decay is a very real issue for our children in Singapore today. More than half our preschoolers are victims of tooth decay.
Establishing tooth friendly habits right from the start is the key to preventing tooth decay.
Start using a soft bristled toothbrush once teeth emerge. Make sure teeth are well cleaned at least twice a day. An appropriate toothpaste should be used. ( Not sure about the choice of toothpaste for kids? Read here: When should I start giving my baby toothpaste?)
Dietary practices need to be tooth friendly too. Monitor your child’s daily exposure to sugary foods and drinks. You must not allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle of sugar containing fluid (e.g. milk, juice). This means that toothbrushing must be done after the last food or drink consumed before settling your child for the night.
Visiting the dentist is a good habit
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to make your child’s first dental visit early and to continue regular visits thereafter. Think of your paediatric dentist as part of the decay fighting team. By assessing the health of your child’s teeth and gums, I am able to customise your child’s dental advice according to his unique dental needs. Dental problems can also be spotted early! Note that your child’s dental needs change as he grows and thus need to be updated from time to time.
As you can see, there’s lots parents can do to prevent tooth decay. It takes effort but it’s all well worth when it is for our kids!