Tooth decay is something that we’d all like to keep our children from enduring. While many parents may not realize it, tooth decay is actually a disease that causes tooth structure damage and can lead to pain and infection. Recent research, however, indicates that tooth decay can do much more harm to a child than once imagined. A study conducted at the University College London and King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia suggests that tooth decay may actually delay growth in children. Generally speaking, oral health is neglected far too much. Both adults and children forget, or don’t understand, the direct link between oral and overall health. It’s time for parents to listen up and make sure that their children are taking proper care of their teeth.
The study indicates that stunted growth and development can be directly matched with higher levels of tooth decay. While this has been a debated topic for years, it is important for parents to recognize signs of tooth decay early on with their children. Look out for the following symptoms of tooth decay:
- White spots on the teeth
- Light brown coloring on the tooth – an early sign of a cavity
- Light brown on tooth progressively becomes darker an darker
- A hole may appear on the tooth
- Sensitivity to cold food or beverage
- Sensitivity to sweets
Preventing tooth decay is essential to keeping your child in the best health possible. Make sure that you child learns the importance of oral hygiene. Things like brushing and flossing must be made fun so that your children look forward to these activities. In addition, a well-balanced diet is important. Make sure you limit the amount of sweets that your children are eating. Finally, nothing can prevent tooth decay like regular dentist visits. Be sure to take your child for routine dental cleanings and exams every 6 months.