Preventing Cavities In A Child’s Smile
We take a preventive approach for children’s dentistry, offering care to help smiles of all ages, from babies and toddlers to teens, avoid the onset of tooth decay. We can not only offer checkups and cleanings, but preventive treatments to strengthen tooth enamel and lower cavity risk. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about preventing childhood cavities!
The Causes of Tooth Decay
Cavities form in little smiles when the outer enamel is compromised. The protective layer of enamel helps prevent bacteria from reaching the sensitive inner layers of dentin. But poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing and flossing, and a diet high in sugar and starch, can create layers of plaque buildup. The plaque then weakens and erodes the enamel. The protective layer could also be damaged by injury or even teeth grinding. As cavities form, they grow in severity unless treated. Which means what starts as tooth sensitivity could soon lead to toothaches and infection, and the threat of premature tooth loss. Which is why our team wants to help protect little smiles from the onset of tooth decay with our preventive children’s treatments.
The Dangers for Little Smiles
Not only does decay and infection cause discomfort, but this could cause a tooth to become lost prematurely, or to require extraction to avoid the spread of infection to other parts of the smile. Premature tooth loss alters how the permanent teeth erupt and could lead to dental misalignment that requires orthodontic care in later years. But with healthy smiles and preventive actions, you can safeguard your child’s smile against the onset of tooth decay.
When children visit for a checkup every six months, we will watch for the earliest signs of tooth decay. Catching the issue in the earliest stages of demineralization means our team can offer a filling to protect the tooth and the smile as a whole. During the same visit, we can also apply a topical fluoride gel to the teeth. The gel then strengthens the weakened portions of the outer tooth structure, which limits the risk of cavities. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral linked to stronger tooth enamel. You also help by making sure your kids use a fluoride toothpaste, a rice-sized amount for kids three and younger, and a pea-sized amount for everyone over the age of three.
Our team offers another preventive treatment to help protect the smile. Kids often have a difficult time reaching the molars in the back of the mouth when they brush and floss. Which means food particles can remain trapped there. As bacteria break them down, this creates plaque buildup and an increased risk of cavities. But with dental sealants, we apply an acrylic coating to the rear teeth to prevent food particles from becoming stuck on or between them. As a result, the overall risk of cavities is reduced. The sealants take only minutes to apply, and can last for up to ten years in some cases. No need for removal either, as they simply wear away with time.
What if we do discover a cavity? Well, we can offer a dental filling in only one visit. Using composite resin, we have an option safe for kids of all ages, and one that can be color matched to blend with the smile. Placement is a simple and comfortable process.
Dental cleanings are another way to help fight the risk of cavities. With a cleaning every six months, our team will thoroughly and gently remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth and along the gum line. Doing so helps lower the risk of cavities, and also fights bad breath and teeth stains too.
At-Home Hygiene Habits
We can also discuss proper brushing and flossing habits, healthier snack options, and other tips for keeping your children’s smiles healthy and strong. Good oral hygiene at home is essential for keeping cavities at bay, and also fighting issues like gingivitis too. If you have any questions about how our team helps prevent the onset of tooth decay in little smiles, or if you would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning visit, then contact our team today to learn more.
Your Dallas, TX, Pediatric Dentist Provides Preventive Dental Care
Our team wants to help kids of all ages in our community avoid the onset of tooth decay, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for our preventive treatments, then we invite you to contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.
filed under: Children's Dental Services