Your dentist in Madison, AL, will undoubtedly agree that prevention is a big part of modern dentistry, and this holds especially true for our children. Kid's teeth start fresh and new, and when they come under our care at Gibson Dental, your child can learn how to maintain that clean start for life. Additionally, your children's dentist can catch any potential problems early.
Cavities are a great example of a dental problem whose solution benefits from both prevention and early detection. As parents, a few simple steps can help us equip our kids to avoid most cavities and detect them when treatment is more manageable for those that get through.
What Causes Cavities?
Your tooth develops a cavity when the tooth's outer layer, called the enamel, is compromised. The culprit is a sticky film that accumulates on your teeth known as plaque. This film consists of bacteria that live on the sugars in the foods and drinks you consume.
At the microscopic level, this plaque bacteria produces acid as a by-product of growth, and the plaque holds these acids against your teeth. But plaque has a simple solution: consistent at-home cleaning with regular professional care.
Keeping 'Em Clean Is Your First Line of Defense
Your children's daily oral hygiene is where your family begins cavity prevention. Dentists recommend that parents and kids brush together because when kids see their parents care for their teeth, they are likelier to model that behavior. Your goal should be to create a routine for your whole family.
If you have more than one bathroom, many professionals agree that establishing one bathroom as "Oral Care Central" can be incredibly effective. The whole family may brush together at meals and before bedtime, including flossing and rinsing.
Less Sugar Means Less Plaque
As part of your at-home prevention, food changes can help starve the bacteria which cause plaque. For example, diets high in sugary foods and beverages are often associated with poorer oral hygiene because refined sugar supercharges bacteria and accelerates growth. If you reduce or even eliminate many of those foods, you slow the bacteria, making it more susceptible to your daily cleanings.
Treatments That Help
Dental exams and teeth cleanings every six months provide support for your home-care routine. Where any of your child's plaque has not responded to brushing and flossing, your dentist will eliminate it. If your child has the precursors to a cavity, then your dentist can offer you some other treatments:
- Fluoride – Plaque and other factors create acids that leach essential minerals from tooth enamel, making them susceptible to decay. Supplemental fluoride applications can help address mineral loss and strengthen your child's tooth enamel.
- Dental sealants – Dental sealants create a barrier that protects your child's teeth from plaque build-up. Your children's dentist will place a thin plastic coating on healthy teeth, especially those with grooved and uneven surfaces. Dental sealants are safe and protect your child's teeth for years as they gradually wear away with time.
Give Your Kids a Cavity-Free Childhood in Madison, AL
At Gibson Dental, we are your partners in preventing cavities in your children. So give us a call to learn how we can support a lifetime of oral health.