Tooth Decay Is Preventable.
Good news! Yes, in fact, tooth decay is preventable. Decay, which is caused by sugars left in your child’s mouth, can turn into an acid which in turn can break down his or her teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents tend to be lax in their oral hygiene habits.
How To Prevent Tooth Decay.
- Start early: After the age of two, brush your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. And, if possible, clean between the teeth with dental floss at least once a day, preferably before they go to bed.
- Don’t allow your little ones to eat after cleaning teeth at bedtime, as salivary flow decreases while they sleep and their teeth become vulnerable to cavities.
- Do not allow your little ones to nibble food or sip drinks continuously, and keep in mind that a low sugar diet also helps keep tooth decay at bay. Allow time between meals for saliva to neutralize acids and repair teeth.
- Drinking water frequently throughout the day can also reduce the possibility of new cavities forming.
- Dental Sealants can also protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Sealants, which are applied to chewing surfaces of molars, act as a shield between the tooth and harmful bacteria.
Finally make sure your child visits Hendersonville Family Dentistry approximately every six months for checkup and routine cleaning.
Children’s Dental Health Month
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. This month is dedicated to educating kids and parents about the benefits of great oral health. Cavities are the most common chronic disease among kids aged 6-19. In fact, a kid between the ages of 14-17 is 4x more likely to have cavities than asthma!
5 Things Parents and Kids can Do:
- Use fluoride: If your child is over age 2, make sure their toothpaste contains fluoride. Also, check to see if your tap water contains fluoride. Ask Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones about fluoride supplements.
- Dental Sealants: Talk to our team at Hendersonville Family Dentistry about dental sealants. This thin plastic coating is applied to the surface of the teeth, which acts as a barrier to help prevent cavities.
- Follow the 2×2 rule: Make sure your child is brushing their teeth for a full two minutes twice daily. Make a brushing chart and use a timer.
- Eat Right: Explain to your child how sugary and acidic foods can cause cavities and weaken the tooth enamel. By educating your child about their health they will make better food choices.
- Visit the Dentist: Your child should have their first dental visit by their first birthday. After that, they should continue to see the dentist at least once a year.
Does Sealants Prevent Cavities?
I feel as though there is a misconception on what a sealant is designed to do and when it should and shouldn’t be placed. Sealants were originally created to help serve and preventative measure to
TRY and prevent decay from forming in the grooves of posterior adult as they began to erupt through the soft tissue. Most often, these teeth include the first and second molars having sealants placed during the deciduous definition period ( when we lose our baby teeth and our adult teeth begin to erupt.) The initial idea of a sealant as preventative measure is definitely supported, however, I feel that specific conditions needs to be met for a sealant to be successful. I also want you to know that is is very important for the patient to understand that having sealants placed, either as a child, teenager, or even an adult does NOT guarantee that specific tooth will never have a cavity.
Sealant Placement & The Proper Conditions.
- No signs of decay present on the individual tooth having the sealant placed.
- Low caries rate of the patient. Patient is a good candidate for sealants if there is no previous history of decay in general.
- Good Oral Hygiene. If you are under the impression that having a sealant placed will prevent decay all together, then the mindset of practicing of good oral hygiene may not seem as important.
So please remember just because a sealant is placed doesn’t mean you won’t get a cavity on your tooth or teeth. Sealants can be successful, if you take proper care of them and understand the importance of good oral hygiene.