Module 2: Risk Factors for Tooth Decay
2.3 What Are Other Risk Factors for Tooth Decay?
The following factors place infants and children at increased risk for tooth decay:
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Inadequate exposure to fluoride. (For a discussion of fluoride, see Module 3, section 3.4.)
- Putting the infant or child to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup or allowing frequent and prolonged bottle feedings or use of sippy cup containing beverages containing sugar (for example, fruit drinks, soda, fruit juice), milk, or formula during the day or night.
- Frequent consumption of foods containing sugar (for example, candy, cookies, cake, sweetened beverages, or fruit juice).
- Coating pacifiers with sweeteners like sugar or honey.
- Having a mother or another caregiver or sibling who has had active tooth decay in the past 12 months.
Case Study #002
The father of a 6-month-old tells you that he wants to help take care of his son's teeth but doesn't know how or when to start. What should you do?