Preventing Tooth Decay in Your Toddler

Most people think of tooth decay as an oral condition that affects adults. While adults are prone to tooth decay due to age or disease, even toddlers can become affected by tooth decay if their oral health isn't cared for properly.

There are some simple things that you can do as a parent to prevent tooth decay in your toddler.

Limit the Bottle at Bedtime

A lot of parents believe that sending a child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup will help soothe the child to sleep. While this might be true, a bottle or sippy cup at bedtime can be a significant contributor to tooth decay in toddlers.

Any sugars that are contained within the juice or formula are deposited directly onto your child's teeth. Allowing the sugars to sit while your child sleeps with a bottle or sippy cup can create a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria can contribute to tooth decay that might affect your toddler's oral health far into the future.

Don't send your toddler to bed with a bottle if you want to protect him or her from tooth decay.

Schedule Regular Dental Visits

Everyone knows that baby teeth will eventually fall out and give way to permanent teeth. It can be tempting for parents to put off regular dental exams until their child's permanent teeth have grown in. However, neglecting your toddler's oral health could contribute to significant tooth decay. A dentist will be able to help your child establish healthy oral hygiene habits that will improve his or her oral health well into the future. Routine appointments can also help reduce dental anxiety and eliminate plaque buildup that could lead to the development of tooth decay.

Serve the Right Snacks

Getting a toddler to sit down and eat a healthy meal can be challenging. Parents often turn to snacks to help fill nutritional gaps and keep toddlers satisfied. Don't reach for sugary or starchy snacks if you want to prevent tooth decay in your toddler.

These foods are the preferred diet of decay-causing bacteria in the mouth. Instead, serve your toddler foods that are rich in vitamin K2 and vitamin D. These vitamins support dental health and can fortify your toddler's teeth against decay in the future.

Foods that are rich in vitamin k2 include cheese and egg yolks. Fortified drinks like orange juice, cow milk, and soy milk can be great sources of vitamin D.

For more information or to schedule a dental appointment for your child, visit sites like