Tooth decay is a widespread oral health concern, one that could impact babies, children, and teens. But what causes a cavity to develop, and can we take steps to avoid them? In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist takes a look at the factors behind cavities, and what you need to know to keep your child’s smile healthy.
Whether you’re a child or an adult, your teeth are coated in a thin, but strong, layer of tooth enamel. The enamel protects the inner layers of dentin, and the inner pulp, from exposure to bacteria, which could cause tooth decay. However, when we eat and drink items high in sugar, this leaves behind particles on and between the teeth. Unless removed with brushing and flossing, these particles will be broken down by bacteria, which creates plaque and over time, erodes the outer enamel. Once the dentin is exposed, this could cause a cavity to form.
Along with poor oral hygiene, injury or pressure could cause cavities by exposing the inner tooth structures to bacteria too. If you crack or chip a tooth, even if the damage appears minor, this could lead to poor oral health. If you grind your teeth, this could place enormous pressure on the smile and then begin to weaken or destroy outer enamel.
When to See the Dentist
We suggest visiting our team every six months for a checkup and cleaning visit, as this allows the dentist an opportunity to monitor your child’s smile for signs of developing decay, addressing the issue before discomfort occurs. Otherwise, you may not know your little one needs treatment until he or she complains about a toothache, at which point the issue has reached a more advanced stage and risks becoming an infection. With a filling, we treat the cavity and prevent further discomfort.
To help reduce the risk of cavities from home, we suggest helping your little brush in the mornings and again at night, and also floss as soon as there are teeth sitting side-by-side. These actions remove food particles to prevent serious plaque buildup. A diet with fewer sugary foods and drinks also helps. If you have any questions about how we treat aching teeth and help children avoid cavities, then contact our team today.
Does Your Little One Have a Tooth That Aches?
We want to help you and your entire family take steps to keep your smiles strong and free of cavities. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients who live around Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities.