How We Keep Your Child’s Teeth Strong

dallas kids cavity prevention

Our team knows that tooth decay is a serious issue that can impact smiles of all ages, from babies and toddlers to teens. Without treatment to keep the decay at bay, the risk of infection and premature tooth loss are always possible. But your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about the treatment we offer to keep little teeth strong and cavity-free!

The Risks to Little Smiles

Cavities can form as soon as a tooth erupts. This is often due to particles of sugar and starch left behind by our foods and drinks, which bacteria consumes to create plaque buildup, a layer that can weaken and erode the outer enamel, allowing cavities to form. In babies, this could happen if they fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice, the same goes for toddlers too. If kids are not brushing and flossing properly this can also increase the risk of cavities as can sodas and sugar-rich snacks and treats. Tooth decay will grow with time and could cause painful infections or even premature tooth loss, a major factor in the onset of misalignment. Even if a cavity forms in a baby tooth, treatment is necessary. But we want to help your kids avoid them completely!

Scheduling a Checkup and Cleaning

Our team wants to see kids every six months for a checkup and cleaning, starting at around age two. The checkup enables our team to carefully examine the teeth and watch for the earliest signs of demineralization, so we can discuss treatments to prevent major decay and discomfort. These visits also help kids become accustomed to seeing the dentist and gain a better understanding of their oral health, so they’re more likely to continue care as teens and adults.

In the same appointment, our team will conduct a dental cleaning, in which we use an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool to gently break up and remove the plaque and tartar buildup that can cause tooth decay. The cleaning only takes a few minutes, but can fight cavities, gingivitis, bad breath, and even teeth stains.

Treatments to Fight a Cavity

We could also discuss unique preventive treatments designed to help lower the risk of tooth decay. During each checkup visit, we can apply a special fluoride varnish to the teeth. A naturally-occurring mineral, fluoride has been shown to strengthen the weakened portions of enamel to prevent a cavity from forming. This is also why we recommend fluoride toothpaste, with kids three and younger using a riced-sized blot, and everyone else using a pea-sized amount. This helps strengthen the outer enamel to make cavities less likely.

We can also add dental sealants to the teeth. Children often have a hard time reaching the rear molars, and don’t brush and floss there as thoroughly. This leaves these teeth more vulnerable to a cavity. But with a dental sealant, we apply a special acrylic coating to these teeth so food and drink particles can no longer become stuck between them. This lowers the risk of a cavity and the sealants can stay in place for up to ten years, wearing away gradually with time but clinging the longest to the more vulnerable portions of these teeth. If needed, we can also reapply during visits.

Tips for Better Homecare

Visits to our team every few months are essential for protecting little smiles, but you also have to make sure your little ones are caring for their teeth from home as well. For example, children of all ages need to have their teeth brushed twice a day, once in the morning and again at night. You can find a fun toothbrush with their favorite characters on them to make the process more fun. Children also need to floss every evening, as this cleans what a toothbrush cannot reach. Younger kids can use a floss pick and when their dexterity improves, they can use floss tape just like you do. Try to lower their consumption of sugar, providing healthier snack and meal options, and offering water instead of soda and other sugar-rich drinks.

If you have any questions about how cavities form and what you can do to protect your children from a cavity, or if you would like to schedule your child’s first visit of 2024 for a checkup and cleaning, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help you kids enjoy bright and beautiful smiles free of tooth decay!

Schedule Your Child’s Six-Month Checkup

We’re ready to help your children enjoy good oral health. To learn more about keeping cavities at bay in little smiles, then please contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.


filed under: Children's Dental Services