Baby Boy Is Pretending To Brush His TeethUnfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. A child’s teeth come in over a period of about seven years, usually beginning around age six and ending around thirteen.

If decay is diagnosed in the tooth of a child of, say, seven, and is present in a tooth that is expected to last until he or she is twelve or thirteen, then obviously the tooth should be filled in order to prevent pain to the child and loss of the tooth. Whereas, if decay is diagnosed on a tooth that has been determined will be lost relatively soon, the decay may be left alone until the tooth is lost.

Preventing decay is, of course, a far better option than having to deal with it after it’s occurred. The means of prevention are essentially the same for a child as they are for an adult. Sugar is the prime culprit in tooth decay regardless of a person’s age, so don’t allow your child to eat or drink everything he or she wants. Whenever a person consumes something that contains starch or sugar, the natural bacteria that live in the mouth begin to work on it to produce acids that aid in digestion, but can be destructive to tooth enamel. This is why it’s so important to brush after every meal or snack.

Ideally, for the sake of your child’s nutrition as well as their dental health, you should limit foods and drinks that contain sugar. If you’re in the habit of allowing the child to take a bottle to bed with them, make sure that it only contains water. Even with very young children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. And with older children, make sure that you educate them in the basics of good oral hygiene in order to minimize the possibility of decay in the baby teeth, and to establish good habits that will allow them to enjoy dental health once their adult teeth are present.