When the element fluoride is used in small amounts on a routine basis it helps to prevent tooth decay. It encourages “remineralization,” a strengthening of weak areas on the teeth. These spots are the beginning of cavity formation. Fluoride occurs naturally in water and in many different foods, as well as in dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, gels, varnish and supplements. Fluoride is effective when combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene.
Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the permanent molars and pre-molars on the chewing surfaces where most cavities in children are found. Sealants are made of clear or shaded plastic. The application of a sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. The tooth is first cleaned. It is then conditioned and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the grooves of the tooth and hardened with a special light. Your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.
Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. The longer it takes your child to chew their foods the longer the residue stays on their teeth, the greater the chances of getting cavities.
Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digest the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference. Thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva that allows more acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.
Tips For Cavity Prevention:
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about six to eight months old. Next to follow will be the four upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2-1/2 years old.
At around 2-1/2 years old, your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of five and six, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or lat. All children are different.
“Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth, but they are important to chewing, biting, speech, and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.”
In all cases our goal is to keep our patients comfortable. We will make sure your child’s mouth is thoroughly numb using local anesthesia and topical anesthesia.
Nitrous Oxide is combined with oxygen and is breathed by your child during the appointment. It is a very safe and effective way to relax a mildly anxious child and does not put your child to sleep. It gives them a sensation something is happening but they don’t seem to care and better tolerate the appointment. Nitrous is given through a mask that fits snugly over their nose. These individualized masks are latex free and come in different sizes, scents and colors.
Extractions are done only as a last resort. If a primary molar is removed prematurely, a Space Maintainer will be placed. Some extractions are needed for Orthodontics reasons to help facilitate tooth alignment