Fighting Cavities With Cleanings and More

dallas dental cleanings

Cavities can form in smiles of all ages, and one major factor behind them is plaque and tartar buildup. But our team can help little smiles by removing the harmful buildup every six months! Our team also offers other unique treatments to lower the risk of tooth decay. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about dental cleanings and other treatments to fight cavities.

The Risks of Plaque and Tartar

Over time, as food and drink particles become stuck on or between the teeth, harmful oral bacteria will consume them. This process not only elevates overall oral acidity, but can coat the teeth in a sticky layer of plaque. The buildup eventually hardens into tartar. The buildup not only makes teeth stains more visible, but can also weaken and erode outer enamel to make cavities and dental infection possible. The same layers can inflame the gum tissues to create gingivitis. Not to mention bad breath and teeth stains! But to help fight the onset of cavities, we recommend a visit for a dental cleaning every six months to remove the buildup completely from the teeth.

The Dental Cleaning Process

A dental cleaning is a procedure in which we use an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual pick to gently and thoroughly break up and remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. The process takes only a few minutes, and then we polish the teeth to not only brighten them, but to make it more difficult for plaque and tartar to adhere to them in between your child’s six months visits.

Fighting Buildup at Home

You can also take action to help prevent major buildup from accumulating on your child’s smile in between their regular office visits. As we touched on above, sugar and starch can feed harmful plaque-causing bacteria. Which is why offering foods and drinks low in sugar is so helpful. This is especially important during the summer months, when kids tend to go overboard on candy and soda. Offering water, fresh fruit and veggies, whole grain items, and offer selections with a lot of vitamin C and D can help protect their smiles and deprive harmful bacteria of a meal.

Your kids also need to care for their smiles from home as well! Make sure they start and end their day by brushing for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Kids three and young need a rice sized amount, while kids over the age of three need a pea sized amount. You can time them with a fun song, video, or podcast. Before they brush the second time, they also need to floss, which removes the bits of food and drink caught between teeth and beyond the reach of a toothbrush.

Fluoride Treatments

During your child’s six-month checkup and cleaning, we can help limit the risk of cavities with a fluoride treatment. Essentially, we will apply fluoride directly to the teeth in a varnish form, which can strengthen the outer enamel, including the weakened portions, to lower the risk of tooth decay. The process takes seconds, and kids just need to avoid food and drink for about a half hour.

Dental Sealants

Many kids, even if they brush and floss as they should, have trouble reaching the molars, which sit in the back of the mouth. Which means food and drink particles can become trapped there to cause cavities. Fortunately, we can offer dental sealants. This acrylic layer can be applied to the teeth in seconds, and is cured with a light. Kids then avoid eating or drinking for about 30 minutes. The sealants prevent particles from being trapped between the rear teeth and can stay in place for up to ten years in some cases, wearing away gradually with time. We can re-apply as needed.

If you have any questions about how to prevent the onset of tooth decay with our dental cleanings or any of our other preventive treatments, then contact our team today to learn more. Summer is a great time to schedule your child’s checkup and cleaning, so they start school in the fall with a bright and healthy smile!

Do You Have Questions About Improving Your Child’s Oral Health?

We want to help your children avoid issues like tooth decay and gingivitis. To learn more about how we remove harmful buildup from little smiles, then please contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.


filed under: Children's Dental Services