Anahita, an eight-year-old girl, was suffering from severe toothache about a week ago. She was diagnosed with tooth decay after she visited a dentist.
According to dentists, children suffer from tooth decay due to high consumption of sugary drinks and desserts. Bacteria metabolise sugars to produce acid which, over time, demineralises tooth structure.
Navdeep Sachdeva from Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College advised that summer was a crucial time to check for cavities since children were more prone to get them during summer than any other season of the year.
Sachdeva said, “Caries among young children or early childhood caries (ECC) is a particularly rapid form of tooth decay. Putting children to bed with a bottle of powdered milk is the root cause of this disease.”
Cavities can develop quickly and if untreated can affect roots and gums as well, leading to extraction of teeth. Accordingly, infants are more likely to develop immediate and long term oral health issues.
Other factors that put children at risk from caries include frequent consumption of artificially sweetened drinks, lack of dental hygiene, chronic illness and poor brushing habits.
Rajesh Kumar, dentist at Christian Medical College and Hospital proposed that the rate of progression depended on the amount of dietary sugars a child consumed and the number of times demineralisation had occurred. Once this happened, decay was imminent.
“One must choose proper care for teeth and consume naturally-sourced liquids such as buttermilk, lassi and lime juice rather than fizzy and sugary drinks.
Switching to fruits which are high in water content such as watermelon and musk melon as well as eating a fibrous diet is a natural way to keep teeth healthy. Brushing twice a day along with flossing helps in getting rid of plaque,” added Kumar.
Parents can help stamp out tooth decay at an early stage when it is simpler to treat. Regular dental checkups aid in detecting cavities when they are too small to notice and easier to cure.