Our Treatments Can Prevent Cavities
Cavities can lead to painful toothaches or children, and lack of treatment could even threaten infection or the loss of the tooth! Premature tooth loss itself could mean misalignment and other complications. But with a preventive approach, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist can help your kids avoid the onset of tooth decay.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
Cavities form in little smiles when harmful oral bacteria can reach the dentin the sensitive structure that makes up most of the tooth. The outer enamel usually prevents this from happening, but factors like a diet high in sugar and starch, improper brushing and flossing, and infrequent dental cleanings could create plaque buildup that weakens enamel and allows a cavity to form. Injuries to the teeth or teeth grinding could also be factors. Children often report tooth sensitivity when they eat or drink, or toothaches, when the decay reaches an advanced stage. At this point, we need to see your little one right away to prevent an infection. Even baby teeth need treatment, as otherwise they may be lost prematurely, which increases the risk of misalignment.
A simple dental cleaning every six months can help kids fight the onset of cavities. A cleaning employs an ultrasonic cleaning device and a manual tool to gently and thoroughly break up and remove all plaque and tartar. We then polish the teeth to brighten them and provide a smoother surface, one that makes it difficult for plaque to cling to. These should happen every six months starting at around age two, and can help fight serious oral health concerns.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally, and has been shown to strengthen tooth enamel to protect the teeth from decay. We can apply this in a topical gel form to the teeth with a brush or a tray during each checkup visit. The material then remineralizes the weakened portions of structure to keep teeth strong. You should also make sure your kids use fluoride toothpaste too. Kids three and young should use a rice sized blot, while everyone else needs a pea sized amount.
Dental sealants can also help fight cavities. Kids often have trouble reaching the molars, the rear teeth in the back of the mouth. As a result, food and drink particles can become trapped between them and lead to cavities. But with dental sealants, we dry the teeth and apply an acrylic layer to them that we cure beneath a light. Kids then avoid food and drink for about 30 minutes. These layers prevent anything from being trapped between these teeth, and can lower the risk of a cavity for up to ten years.
Preventing Cavities From Home
Your children can also take steps to protect their smiles from home! Make sure they start each day by brushing for at least two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste, and then do the same in the evening. We know that sometimes kids become lax in their brushing and flossing habits during the summer, so gently remind them, or even clean your teeth alongside them. Children also need to floss before they brush the second time, to remove what a toothbrush alone cannot reach.
What if we discover the presence of a cavity? Then our team could offer treatment in only one visit! Instead of using metal for our fillings, we use a composite resin that is safe for all ages. The material can also be color matched to blend with their teeth too. The placement process involves numbing the tooth before we remove the decay and clean it. Next, we prepare and place the filling material in several layers. Once we do, we will sculpt and mold the tooth as a light cures the composite resin. The last step is to polish the tooth thoroughly. In one visit, we can bring relief!
If you have any questions about helping your child avoid the onset of tooth decay, or about treating issues with a lifelike dental restoration, then please contact our team today. Now is a great time to schedule a checkup and cleaning visit for your little ones, so they can enjoy optimal oral health all summer long.
Speak With Your Dallas, TX, Pediatric Dentist About Preventive Dentistry
If you would like to make sure your little one stays cavity-free, or to schedule an appointment for a filling, we invite you to contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880. We want to help children of all ages in our community enjoy optimal oral health.
filed under: Preventive Treatments