Infants and children are not immune to oral health problems. In 2002, "Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General" found that dental caries (tooth decay or cavities) is the most chronic childhood ailment - five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
Diet and the Oral Health Implications What your children eat affects their teeth. Sugars (found in cake, cookies, candy, milk and juice) and starches (found in pretzels and potato chips) can cause tooth decay. Add to this the fact that it is more difficult to clean babies' and children's teeth and you can see why debris tends to remain in children's teeth, resulting in bacteria growth and, ultimately, tooth decay.
Although baby teeth (deciduous or primary teeth) are eventually replaced with permanent teeth, healthy baby teeth are fundamental to a child's overall health and development. We like to see a child around the age of 2 or 3 for his first dental visit.
From six months to 24 months, children begin teething in earnest, indicated by irritability, biting on objects, drooling and ear pulling. As a parent, you can help teething progress by using strategies such as massaging your child's gums, offering a chilled teething ring or cold, wet washcloth and asking your dentist for a teething ointment recommendation.