Prevention

Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth decay develops slowly and is caused by the reaction of sugar with bacteria in the teeth. When a child consumes foods that are rich in sugar and starches, it can trigger a chemical reaction that erodes the tooth and eventually results in the formation of cavity if not treated.

Taking your child to a pediatric dentist can help prevent tooth decay if detected early. Plaque and tartar deposits are removed through professional cleaning so that bacteria are eliminated. However, if your child’s tooth already has a cavity, we can still help protect it from become severely decayed. The dentist will scrape off the decay and fill the cavity with the right filling material so that bacteria can no longer live and grow inside.

In extreme cases, the decay can damage the tooth’s nerve endings and treatment may necessitate the use of a dental crown so that the tooth can be strengthened.

You can help your child avoid tooth decay by maintaining good dental habits at home and taking them to the dentist’s office for regular check-ups and cleanings. Remind your child to floss and brush their teeth twice a day and to stay away from foods that are bad for their teeth.

By teaching your child good oral habits, you can help your child keep their teeth healthy and even prevent them from requiring expensive dental treatments later on.

Sealants

Getting rid of food particles on the posterior teeth’s chewing surfaces can be very difficult. There are grooves and serrations on the surface which make it hard to clean. Because of this, it can lead to a bacterial reaction which produces acids that can damage the enamel and lead to cavities.

According to research, 88% of school kids in the United States have cavities. If your child has a cavity or if you notice grooves and serrations in their teeth, then they can benefit greatly from dental sealants.
Sealants are made of resin compounds that a dentist will put on the surface of the posterior teeth, molars and pre-molars. With sealants, the surfaces are sealed so that bacteria and food particles cannot get trapped inside where they can cause damage. Sealants are long-lasting and are very beneficial to one’s oral health.

Fluoride

Fluoride is important for the development of healthy and strong teeth. It’s naturally present in the teeth but eating foods like fish, meat and eggs can also boost the amount of fluoride in the mouth. Some homes also have access to fluoride-treated drinking water which is more than enough to meet RDA requirements. But if your child is not getting enough fluoride, a dentist can recommend fluoride supplements to help reduce their risk for teeth cavities.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb-sucking is natural in infants because it helps them relax and feel comfortable. Usually, once their permanent front teeth erupt, the child will stop sucking their thumb. Some kids, however, continue the habit well past this period. If your child is still thumb-sucking after their permanent front teeth have come out, you need to discourage them from doing so because it can have a serious negative effect on their dental health. Long-term finger or thumb-sucking causes mal-occlusions and this issue must be communicated to a dentist so that a solution can be given.

Here are some tips to help your child stop thumb-sucking:

  • Cover their hand with a sock or bandage before going to sleep.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Don’t scold them when they suck their thumb; rather, praise them when they don’t.
  • Find out what’s causing them to thumb-suck. Whatever the cause, try to get rid of it.