Preventing Tooth Decay Is the Best Method for Children

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Dentists do their best to treat children experiencing dental decay, but preventing decay from happening in the first place is truly the best option.

According to a three-year study conducted by several universities, with core findings published in the Journal of Dental Research, preventing tooth decay altogether for children is best for oral care. Even professional dental treatments including drilling, reducing sugar intake, and sealing of tooth decay in kids do not lessen the impact of tooth decay or eliminate discomfort in the child being treated, the study found.

According to Anne Maguire, a professor at Newcastle University, there are treatment options for children suffering from tooth decay.

“The findings have focused attention again on the need to prevent dental decay before it begins, but also provided some reassurance that if decay does develop in a child’s mouth, there are a number of treatment options available, which can be tailored to the clinical and behavioral needs of an individual child,” she said.

However, the study only focused on 1,140 children who were already suffering from tooth decay and did not consider kids who weren’t suffering from the oral health issue.

“All of the children in our study were chosen to take part because they already had tooth decay, and unfortunately even with lots of care and attention from the dentist, once children have decay, there’s quite a chance that it will cause further problems,” the study’s top researcher, Professor Gail Douglas, said.

The proactive method of treating tooth decay from the beginning is the best approach to mitigate pain for children, said Dr. Alexandra George, a dentist in the Pittsburgh area. The study concluded that little can be done to help tooth decay in children once it sets in, but it can be prevented entirely with the right treatment from the beginning of oral care.

“Good methods of preventive care include using fluoride toothpaste every night before bedtime,” George said. “Also, children should not consume sodas, juices or other sweet drinks between their breakfast, lunch or dinner. Another important thing to consider is that children should be fed a balanced diet, such as whole grains, healthy greens and fruits. If you can stick to the above, heed dental care advice and promote regular checkups with their dentist, children could potentially avoid tooth decay entirely.”

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on February 8th, 2020