At Walker Pediatric Dentistry, a big part of our services for you and your family involve preventive measures. Taking the right steps now can keep you from costly and painful issues down the line, and we want to get that prevention right every time.
One of the biggest areas we’re fighting against with preventive measures is tooth decay, or permanently damaged areas in the teeth that develop into small holes. Tooth decay is caused by acids in the mouth – these acids are created by bacteria, which eat away at the teeth. In some cases tooth decay will just cause a cavity, but in others it can lead to infections, tooth loss and other more serious issues.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your children get off on the right food in combating tooth decay. Here are a few tips.
Water choices can be an important first step in preventing tooth decay. An important factor is the presence of fluoride – most public water sources will contain added fluoride, as will many forms of tap and filtered water. Bottled water is okay from time to time, but because it often lacks fluoride and other nutrients, drinking it exclusively is not recommended.
In addition, especially if your family dentist has told you your child is at higher risk for cavities or other issues, you may be advised to use additional fluoride treatments.
There are a few foods to stay away from where you can, especially those that can easily get stuck in the teeth – chips, cookies and candy. If your child does eat these items, encourage them to brush directly after to get rid of any sticky particles. Fruits and vegetables should be promoted as much as possible, as they naturally increase saliva flow and help eliminate bacteria. In general, the less snacking you can get your child to do, the better – this leaves more chances for bacteria to grow.
Make sure your children are brushing at least twice a day, or even after every meal if you can swing it. Use toothpaste with added fluoride, and make sure kids are brushing correctly and not just going through the motions.
Through your normal checkups with your pediatric dentist, you may be recommended alternative treatments. There’s fluoride treatments, as we mentioned, and many children may need antibacterial treatments in some cases. Many school-age children are recommended dental sealants, a protective coating for back teeth. And of course, best of all, regular checkups will allow the dentist to keep tabs on all areas of overall tooth health.
Want to learn more about tooth decay prevention, or any of our other pediatric dentistry services? Speak to the friendly staff at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.