Do you spend what feels like a significant amount of time trying to protect your child’s smile from cavities? Do you limit sugar, give your child water instead of soft drinks or juice, and do your best to keep up with preventive care? If so, you’re doing a good job of helping your child avoid dental fillings. However, for your most successful experience, we suggest you learn more about how cavities form – and how you may reverse them.
How Do They Form?
The harmful bacteria in your mouth – the ones that make up plaque – release acids when you consume foods. This is the result of the digestive process that occurs when the bacteria feed on the food or drink particles remaining in your mouth. Unfortunately, the acids wear down your enamel – or outermost tooth tissue layer – that is composed of minerals.
Are Cavities Reversible?
If your child’s tooth decay has just begun to occur and the cavity has not reached the deeper tissue layer called dentin, it may be possible to reverse the cavity before your little one needs a dental filling. First, the saliva in your child’s mouth helps to “re-mineralize” lost minerals, which assists in inhibiting the development of a cavity. In addition, we may suggest fluoride treatment to effectively re-mineralize the weakened spot, reversing the problem.
How Can I Prevent Them?
We suggest you make sure your child is brushing twice a day at home – and flossing once daily, as well. Always use fluoridated toothpaste. In addition, it is essential that you schedule twice-annual visits with us, so we may help you identify early signs of tooth decay, provide preventive treatment and suggestions, and help your little one avoid the need for dental fillings.