Milk teeth have greater propensity to undergo dental decay once the oral environment becomes favourable for the growth of caries causing microorganisms. One of the major risk factors associated with the development of dental caries is sugary diet rich in refined carbohydrates. Microorganisms harbor special capability of disintegration these refined sugars into their acidic contents and ions. Once acidic content increases within the oral environment, it dilutes and decreases the PH buffering properties of salivary fluid and overall PH of the oral cavity becomes low. When this Ph lowers down below the critical PH value, de-mineralization of dental hard tissues such as outermost enamel followed by underneath dentine starts to occur. This process of dental decay continues to progress if PH remains below this specified level unless oral hygiene measures are performed to help re-mineralize the tooth tissues and stop the decay process. Damage to milk teeth can have adverse consequences in the development of permanent dentition in future.
Dietary modification plays a pivotal role in the prevention and cessation of dental caries and associated harmful consequences of tooth loss eventually. Children must be provided with a balanced diet rich in fibers and less rich in synthetic sugars. Recently, studies have shown that lunch boxes of children which they take with them to school to enjoy food at break time contain sugar rich snacks which have become a rich source of dental decay. Dental health care professionals advise giving your children cheese rich diet and non-sugary snacks in order to prevent the occurrence of dental decay through this source. Fizzy drinks and soda beverages are a major source of tooth erosion and some mothers fill baby bottles with these harmful products and teeth are severely damaged as a result of the habit. Parent supervision during tooth brushing and using dental floss is also extremely important for the good oral and dental health of their children.
It starts with a proper lunch, says Kathleen Pace, DDS, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, who shares her advice on encouraging smile-friendly habits in children as they start school.
School lunches have taken centre stage in the interest of maintaining children’s overall health, says Pace, yet dental health has faded into the background in the face of consequences such as obesity that stem from unhealthy school lunches.
“Dental cavities are a prevalent disease in our childhood population,” says Pace, adding that natural foods are lower in sugar and therefore less damaging to teeth.