What You May Not Know About Dental Decay: Facts from a Children's Dentist
We know that it can be difficult to create time in a busy schedule to visit a children's dentist, but it is very important to do so twice per year. Otherwise, the likelihood of a child developing dental decay is significantly higher. To understand how important maintaining good oral health is, it helps to learn more about the mouth in general. People need to know some of the things that can happen when they do not maintain proper oral hygiene.
Maintaining a healthy environment
It is important to maintain a healthy environment in the mouth, one that is not full of dangerous bacteria. What many people do not realize is that once children begin to suffer from dental decay and infections, it can create an unhealthy atmosphere in the mouth. Thus, instead of having one tooth suffering from dental decay, a child is likely to suffer from several teeth with dental decay.
The best way to prevent this is to schedule biannual teeth cleanings to ensure that a children's dentist can remove the decay as soon as it begins to form. Catching it early enough can help to maintain a healthy environment in the mouth and prevent future oral health problems.
How decay develops
Every time that someone eats, food particles get on the teeth and help sugar remain there. The food will then begin to lead to the formation of plaque, which can secrete acid that attacks the teeth. Brushing teeth after meals help to prevent this. However, the longer that plaque remains on the teeth, the more acid that will attack the teeth.
Eventually, the enamel on the outside of the teeth will give way and a small hole will form. The decay can continue to spread throughout the tooth and potentially infect the center of the tooth as well. Certain foods and beverages increase the likelihood of decay forming because they are high in sugar or acid. These include:
- Soda, including diet
- High sugar cereal
- Cookies and cake
- Ice cream
Treating dental decay
When patients visit our children's dentist office for cavity treatments we must conduct an examination and may need to take X-rays. Then, we can remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Afterward, we will thoroughly clean the area and then place a dental filling. We typically recommend tooth-colored fillings that have the ability to blend in with the natural tooth structure.
We do all of this after first numbing the area and providing a child with pain medication so they do not feel anything. If children are anxious or scared about the appointment, we may use a mild sedative first in order to help them remain calm.
Schedule appointments on a regular basis
The best way to prevent this situation and to reduce the likelihood that your child will suffer a terrible toothache caused by decay is to call our office and schedule an appointment for routine cleanings and examinations. These preventative appointments are the best way to help a child remain in good oral health.