Cavities not only cause painful toothaches and tooth sensitivity, but the decay could over time increase the risk of infection or even premature tooth loss. To safeguard smiles from cavities, your Syosset, NY, dentist offers a preventive approach to children’s dentistry. In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about what parents can do to help their children enjoy a cavity-free smile.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
How does a cavity form in a tooth? Teeth of all ages are protected by a thin layer of outer enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. The enamel protects the sensitive inner dentin and pulp from exposure to bacteria. However, when the enamel becomes compromised, this allows bacteria to reach the dentin, where cavities form. Over time, the spread of decay to the inner pulp could mean tooth sensitivity and toothaches, as well as the risk of an infection! The causes could include poor oral hygiene and a diet high in sugary foods and drinks, factors that lead to plaque buildup accumulation on the surfaces of the teeth and eroding enamel. Injury could also be a factor, as cracks or chips damage enamel and expose inner dentin.
Care at Home
Now that we know the basics of cavity formation, what can be done at home to protect little smiles? As soon as a child’s first baby tooth erupts, you should take time to clean it in the morning and again before bed. Try to keep your little one from falling asleep or napping with a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice, as this prevents bacteria from breaking down the particles clinging to the teeth. As your child grows older, they will need to brush with an age-appropriate toothbrush with a rice-sized blot of toothpaste. You will move from doing this for them, to assisting them and then to monitoring them to make sure they reach every surface of their smile. As soon as teeth sit side-by-side in the smile, then flossing is crucial too.
Checkups and Cleanings
Like you, children should attend routine checkup and cleaning visits. The fist should happen around age one, after the initial baby tooth has erupted. Afterward, we will use these visits as a chance to monitor the smile for the earliest signs of trouble and remove all plaque buildup, as well as to help your kids better understand their oral health. Attending the visits not only instills good oral health habits, but could also lower the chances of dental anxiety later in life.
To further protect smiles, our team also offers fluoride treatments and dental sealants. Fluoride treatments are applied during each checkup and cleaning visit, and help strengthen the outer enamel against demineralization and erosion. Dental sealants are a thin acrylic coating added to the rear teeth to prevent food particles from being trapped between them, and remain in place for between five and ten years on average.
Do You Have Questions About Children’s Dentistry?
We know that good oral heath begins in childhood, which is why the team at Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY provides quality care for kids and adults alike. Contact our office at (516) 433-2211 to schedule your appointment today.