Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis IN

Tooth Decay: What you need to know from your Indianapolis Pediatric Dentist

Are you worried about how to take care of your children’s tooth hygiene and worried about tooth decay? Our Indianapolis Pediatric Dentist is here to help you.

Teeth care to avoid tooth decay in children by pediatric dentist Indianapolis IN

Teeth care important since good dental health will positively impact the life of the child. This will allow him to chew well and thus eat all the food he needs to develop well. Good teeth are also essential for good language development. Finally, healthy teeth contribute to good self-esteem.

It is also good to get the baby to brush his teeth as soon as the first teeth appear. This way, brushing will become part of his routineIt will also allow the first teeth to form in a clean environment. Plus, brushing your teeth will stimulate her gums.

Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis IN

How to clean a baby’s mouth and teeth?

From birth, it is recommended that you start cleaning your baby’s gums and the inside of your baby’s mouth after drinking. Use a damp and clean cloth that will be reserved for the hygiene of his mouth.

As soon as the first tooth erupts, it can be brushed with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Also, clean the gums. After that, it is advisable to brush the child’s teeth at least twice a day, that is to say, morning and evening. Brushing before bedtime is essential.

When the bristles on the toothbrush get curled, it’s time to change it.

Some additional hygiene rules suggested by pediatric dentist Indianapolis IN

At birth, your baby’s mouth is free from tooth decay bacteria. These are often transmitted to it by objects contaminated with the saliva of adults. If the right conditions are met, these bacteria can then cause cavities.

Here’s how to reduce the spread of tooth decay bacteria:

  • Watch everything your newborn baby puts in their mouthAlso, maintain good dental hygiene to minimize the risk of passing the bacteria that cause cavities to your child.
  • Do not put his pacifier in your mouth before giving it to him.
  • Avoid kissing your baby on the mouth.
  • Do not use the same spoon to taste and feed your baby.
  • Your baby should have his toothbrush, and he should not share it with anyone.
  • Always air dry your toothbrush with the head facing up. She must not touch other toothbrushes.

First visit to the Kids Dentist center Indianapolis IN

Young children should see the dentist for the first time around the age of 1 year. At Speedway Dentistry, our children dentist, Indianapolis IN is available for examinations and certain treatments (e.g., repair of a cavity) to all children under ten years of age.

How to clean the teeth of a young child?

Usually, a young child needs help brushing their teeth. By the age of 6, he is probably able to do this on his own. However, when a toddler is ready can vary a lot from child to child. Some people need longer supervision.

To brush your child’s teeth, use fluoride toothpaste. This type of toothpaste is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay. However, use a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste, equivalent to the size of:

– a grain of rice for children under three years old,

–  a pea for children aged 3 to 6 years.

Proceed as follows to brush your teeth:

  • You both stand in front of a mirror. Stand behind him and lean his head against you.
  • Start by pushing back one of his lips with your free hand, then brush his teeth vertically, always going from the gum to the tips of the teeth. Push the other lip back, and repeat.
  • Excess toothpaste should be spitting out by your child.
  • Ask your child not to rinse their mouth after brushing. Thus, the fluoride in the toothpaste will continue to protect teeth against decay.

An alternative is to sleep your child on the floor or a bed so that his head is more stable. It will also let you see the inside of their mouth better and have easier access to the back teeth.

So that he agrees to have his teeth brushed to prevent tooth decay.


From the moment the child’s teeth are touching, it is advisable to floss every night to complete brushing. It cleans the surfaces of the teeth that the toothbrush does not reach.

Some toddlers don’t like having their teeth brushed. So here are some tips that will make it easier for you and your child:

  • Start by letting him try it out on his own. This will be the fun part of the activity.
  • Brush your teeth in front of him. Children love to imitate their parents.
  • Grab your child’s attention with a light-up toothbrush, singing them a nursery rhyme, or asking them to hold a small mirror.

To encourage your little one to open his mouth, have him open his mouth like a little bird to brush his front teeth. Then, for the back teeth, ask him to roar like a lion.

Early childhood tooth decay

Early childhood decay occurs before the age of 5 and can affect a baby’s first teeth. When the child eats or drinks, food particles stick to his teeth. The decay bacteria then convert the sugar in these particles into acids. It is these acids that attack tooth enamel.

When a child has cavities, the enamel turns dull, yellow, sometimes brown. Once started, cavities quickly get worse. The condition is often painful and interferes with a child’s sleep and diet. Cavities can also have a negative impact on growth and language learning. It must therefore be treated quickly.

Pediatric Dentist in Indianapolis

Risk factors for tooth decay according to children dentist in Indianapolis 

Some families tend to have cavities more often. There is, therefore, a hereditary aspect to tooth decay. However, certain behaviors increase the risk of cavities, such as:

  • Consume juice and sugary foods regularly;
  • Sleep with a bottle of milk or juice, which causes prolonged contact of the sweet liquid with the teeth;
  • Not brushing your teeth every day;
  • Do not use fluorinated products, such as fluoride toothpaste.

Some parents believe that cavities are less serious when they affect baby teeth. However, these teeth are very important. They serve as guides for the adult teeth and ensure that there will be enough room when they come out. In addition, a decayed milk tooth that is left untreated can infect the adult tooth that is forming under the gum tissue. Finally, baby teeth are essential for eating well and learning to speak.

The outer surface of the enamel of milk teeth is thinner than that of permanent teeth. These teeth are therefore more susceptible to tooth decay.

How to prevent early childhood cavities

  • Practice good dental hygiene by brushing your child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day, and brushing before sleeping is very important.
  • Be careful not to drink too many sugary beverages or take foods like soda and candy.
  • Never put sugar or honey on a pacifier or a bottle nipple, thinking that you encourage your child to accept them.
  • Do not let your child sleep and walk around with a bottle or a cup that contains milk, juice, or other sweet products. We should not take these drinks with a meal or snack.
  • Encourage your child to stop using the bottle around 12 months of age.
  • Beware of the sugar in medicines or syrups. If you give it to your child, clean their teeth afterward or, at the very least, rinse their mouth with water.
  • Check the appearance of their teeth regularly, including those at the back of their mouth. Watch out for dull-white, yellowish, or brownish spots near the gum line, as decay often starts there. These spots could be cavities.
  • Visit a pediatric dentist at least once a year.

Breastfeeding and tooth decay

The main cause of cavities in toddlers is the presence of bacteria in the mouth that cause it. In theory, breastfeeding could protect against cavities since breast milk contains substances that can prevent the multiplication and action of these bacteria.

However, the reality is more complicated. According to the most recent studies by children dentists in Indianapolis, breastfed babies are less likely to have cavities than bottle-fed babies. However, from the age of 12 months, this protective effect would disappear. In addition, some studies show that babies who are breastfed over 12 months are more likely to have cavities than those who have been breastfed for less than 12 months.

After 12 months, children who are breastfed on demand overnight would be particularly vulnerable, experts say. This is because the milk would indeed remain in contact with the teeth during night feeds because of the inactivity of the tongue when the child is sleeping.