This office is totally and unconditionally committed to a policy of prevention. We can provide you with the means and the knowledge to avert dental disease. Early visits can prevent decay and infections. We recommend that a child be seen for a comprehensive examination by the time the first tooth appears in the mouth.
We believe that, with parental help, dental disease is very preventable. Prevention of dental disease is less traumatic, less costly, and more rewarding for everyone, especially children. Recent advances in dentistry enable us to give your child better care than ever. One of our basic aims is to help you and your child prevent the problems which have been so prevalent in the past.
Tooth Decay Prevention
What causes cavities? Do bad teeth run in families? If mom and dad have bad teeth are their children doomed? These are excellent questions that we get asked every day. Caries, or tooth decay, is a 100% preventable disease. Dental caries is the most common disease of childhood. It is more common than asthma and pretty much anything else you can think of, including cooties. A recent report from the CDC found that the number of cavities in adults has decreased, however the opposite is happening in the two to five year old group. It is a real epidemic.
When your children’s teeth and gums are consistently exposed to starches and sugars, the bacteria in the mouth forms acids that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on the teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in the mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting. A simple explanation is that the germs in the mouth feed on sugary stuff and produce an acid which makes holes in the teeth. These holes are the cavities. Waiting on a tooth that has a cavity because “it’s only a baby tooth and it’s going to fall out anyway”, can have life threatening results. Any cavity in your child’s teeth should be checked by a dentist. The best and easiest way to care for cavities is to prevent them!
For your children to end up getting cavities you need three things: teeth, the mouth germs and sweet foods or drinks. If you get rid of the mouth germs and the sweet stuff, they will not get cavities. This, we guarantee! There is not much you can do about someone with “weaker” teeth. However, the best thing you can do to prevent cavities is to get rid of the cavity bugs by brushing twice a day and not feeding the bugs sweet stuff all day! This means no juice, especially apple or grape, no flavored milk, no Gatorade, no candy, no chocolate… I think that you get the point, no sugary stuff in between meals. If the cavity bugs do not eat, they can’t cause cavities. Yes it’s really that simple! Your child does not have to inherit dental problems. It is a scientific fact that the ONLY difference between children with many cavities and those who have none is the diet! It does not matter if their teeth are not as strong. So help your child out, keep the sweet stuff to a minimum.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that the chewing surface of the back teeth are seen to end up with more cavities than other surfaces.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become more resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. When it comes to prevention, using fluoride is currently the only proven method to prevent cavities.
During either recreational or organized physical activities, injuries to the mouth and teeth can have long lasting implications. The use of a mouth guard can help prevent damage or loss of teeth especially while on skateboards, motorized scooters or the backyard football or basketball game. Contact your dentist regarding this excellent option for your child.