Helping Kids Avoid Cavities In 2024
A new year is here! We want to help your kids enjoy good oral health and avoid cavities during this new year. From cleanings to dental sealants, our team can offer kids bright and strong smiles, free of toothaches and cavities. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about our treatment options for little smiles.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is common in children, especially following the holiday season. When children eat lots of items high in sugar, this leaves behind particles of harmful oral bacteria to consume, a process that causes plaque buildup to accumulate and weaken outer enamel, leaving smiles vulnerable to tooth decay and infection. Poor brushing and flossing habits could also be a factor, as could infrequent visits for cleanings, which should happen every six months. Children may report tooth sensitivity and they eat or drink, and could complain about toothaches, so don’t ignore these potential symptoms, instead contact our team for a diagnosis and to see if your little one needs treatment!
If you see our team every six months for a checkup and cleaning, we will watch for the earliest signs of tooth decay so we can offer treatment to protect the smile from infection and premature tooth loss. We also clean the teeth, a process that removes the harmful layers of plaque and tartar buildup with an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual pick. The process only takes a few minutes, and we then polish the smile. This last step not only brightens your teeth, but makes it more difficult for plaque and tartar buildup to adhere to the teeth before the next cleaning visit. During these visits, our team will also take time to talk to your children about their oral hygiene, so they know what is at stake and how to care for their teeth. We can also talk about health snack habits too!
Our team could also help prevent cavities with a dental sealant. This is an acrylic layer we add to the rear teeth, which are usually more likely to develop decay since kids have a hard time reaching them when they brush and floss. The application takes minutes. We clean and dry the teeth, and then apply the material before curing it with a special light. Kids just need to avoid food and drink for about 30 minutes. These sealants provide up to ten years of protection, wearing away gradually with time, clinging the longest to the more vulnerable parts of the teeth. We can re-apply them as needed.
Our team could also help with fluoride treatments, which are applied during each checkup visit. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel, protecting the outer layer from erosion that could cause cavities. Application takes seconds, and this provides months of protection. Aging, kids just need to avoid food and drink for about 30 minutes following the treatment. We also recommend children use fluoride in their toothpastes, as this can also help strengthen the enamel to fight cavities. Kids three and under should only use a rice-sized blot, and kids older than three need a pea-sized amount.
Speaking of, brushing and flossing at home is also crucial for fighting tooth decay in little smiles. You can assist your younger kids, and monitor your older ones to make sure they’re taking the time to clean their teeth properly. Kids need to brush for at least two minutes when they wake up and then again before going to sleep. Be sure they use an age-appropriate toothbrush, and you can time them with a sand timer or a fun song or video. They also need to floss once teeth are sitting side-by-side in the smile. This should happen every evening before they brush the second time. These actions help fight cavities, infections, and gingivitis, keeping their smiles healthy and instilling good oral health habits that will protect them in the teen and adult years too.
If you have any questions about how to fight tooth decay, or if you would like to schedule a visit with our team for a checkup and cleaning, then please reach out today. We want to help your children enjoy good oral health in 2024 and beyond, and that all starts with a simple checkup and cleaning visit.
Bring Your Child in For a Checkup Appointment
We want to help your children enjoy their best smiles this year, and in the years to come! To learn more about how our team safeguards little smiles against the onset of tooth decay, then please contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.
filed under: Children's Dental Services