Stunted Growth And Teeth Decay: An Uncanny Relationship

Why do you fear teeth decay? It's probably because you don't want to lose your teeth, deal with the associated pain and preserve your beautiful milky white teeth. These are all good motivational points as far as oral health is concerned.

In children, however, there are other things to worry about as far as teeth decay is concerned. It seems that teeth decay in childhood can lead to low weight and stunted growth.

According to Dental News, a relatively new study has revealed a link between dental decay and hampered growth in children. The study, which was conducted by researchers from University College London and King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital (Saudi Arabia), focused on children between the ages of six and eight.

From the result of the study, it is apparent that children in this age group are more likely to be underweight and of below average height if they have severe teeth decay. Of course, further study has to be done to confirm these finding and elaborate on them. however, if you don't want your child to be too small for his age, then you better start paying attention to his or her oral health.

Keeping your child free of dental decay needs not be rocket science. Some of the most useful measures include:

Daily brushing

Regular teeth brushing helps to get rid of bacterial plaque that cause teeth decay. If the child cannot brush on his or her own, then you should help him or her to clean the surfaces (both outer and inner) of each tooth, the chewing surfaces as well as the entire gum line.

 According to the US Centers for Disease Control, CDC, you should use pea-sized toothpaste for brushing your child's teeth. Also, avoid fluoridated toothpaste for children younger than two years.

Daily Flossing

It helps to get rid of plaque and debris in hidden places that the brush may not reach. Your dentist is the best person to ask when to start flossing your child's teeth. Ideally, the child should master the technique by the time he or she hits age seven or six.

Dental Sealants

If your child's teeth have fully erupted, then he or she may benefit from the placement of dental sealants. These are materials placed on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to fill their fissures (grooves). Filling the grooves gives the teeth even surfaces that are easy to clean.

Teeth decay is preventable; you just need to play your part. Don't forget to feed your child well because nutrition is also necessary for the development of strong and healthy teeth. Above all, consult your child's dentist regular to detect and solve dental problems before they become serious. (For more information, contact Maria E Marzo, D.D.S., PC)