Now that summer break is here for many kids, your little ones will be lounging around more and could be more likely to develop cavities. After all, they have more time than ever to enjoy sugary sweets and could become a little lax in their oral health routines. In today’s blog, your Redmond, OR, dentist explains how we use preventive dentistry to protect children from cavities.
How Tooth Decay Forms in Little Smiles
When a tooth is chipped or cracked, this damages enamel and exposes the inner dentin to bacteria, allowing a cavity to develop. However, the most common reason for a cavity is usually poor hygiene habits, specifically, a combination of poor brushing and flossing and diet high in sugar. When kids consume lots of sugary foods and drinks, this leaves behind particles on and between the teeth for bacteria to break down, coating the smile in plaque and weakening enamel. Lack of proper brushing and flossing ensures the food particles stay lodged in your smile and leaves your smile vulnerable to plaque and enamel erosion. Kids then develop tooth decay and may begin to complain about aching or sensitive teeth!
First, at home you should ensure your kids brush and floss daily, and try to cut back on sugary items too. However, we have a few office-based solutions to protect little smiles! When your children come in for a checkup and cleaning, we will examine the teeth to assess their risk. For some, we could place dental sealants on the rear teeth, which prevents food particles from being trapped between them. Since these teeth are often difficult for kids to reach when brushing and flossing, this limits the risk of cavities. The sealants then stay in place for years and wear away gradually with time.
To ensure the outer enamel remains strong, we could also strengthen it with a re-mineralizing agent known as fluoride. Applying fluoride directly to the teeth in a varnish form during each checkup and cleaning visit helps protect the teeth and lowers the risk of cavities! Fluoride is also in your tap water, so encourage your kids to drink more water too. These preventive treatments, combined with a better diet and improved brushing and flossing habits, could help protect your child’s smile from painful cavities and infections, as well as gingivitis, bad breath, and teeth stains!
Do You Have Questions About Children’s Dentistry?
We want to provide families in our community with unique preventive treatments to help smiles of all ages stay free of cavities, poor gum health, and other concerns. To learn more about our approach children’s dentistry and preventive dental care, then schedule a consultation by calling Coppertop Family Dentistry in Redmond, OR, today at 541-923-5927.