Good dental care is also very important to dental health.
It’s important to remember it isn’t actually the sugar causing the problem. It is only when the sugar is used by some of the bacteria which live in the mouth that problems begin. Cavity-causing germs use the sugar as food and secrete acids that destroy the hard enamel of the tooth first. Next the acid works on the softer dentin and keeps on going until the nerve is affected. At this point tooth decay can become very painful and lead to serious infections.
This is significant because it reminds parents that limiting sugar isn’t the only line of defense. The longer sugar is allowed to sit in the infant’s mouth, the greater the chances for bacteria to multiply and cause dental caries.
“‘Caries’ is the name for the disease that causes cavities in teeth,” says Dr. Bozzone. “It is the most common chronic disease in children and often quoted as being five times more common than the second most prevalent disease, asthma. Caries is caused by bacteria which adhere to teeth in a sticky paste, which we call ‘plaque.'”