Most people will experience a cavity, an early stage of tooth decay, in their lives. Children can be especially susceptible to cavities because they do not always know how to properly care for their smiles. Cavities form when natural oral bacteria penetrate weak parts in the outer layer of the tooth, enamel, and eat away at the dental structure.
A dentist can treat a cavity with a dental filling, but ideally, dental patients should preserve their natural smiles for as long as they can, especially at a young age. Fortunately, you can spot tooth decay before it evolves into a cavity. You might see light or dark discoloration on a tooth, for instance.
Then you can help your child take action to stop decay from advancing and hurting their smile. Read on to find three tips that will help you reverse tooth decay and fight cavities.
Limit Harmful Foods and Drinks
Kids tend to love sugary snacks and fruit juices. But citrus fruits and sugar will make the mouth more acidic. And the resulting acid will erode the tooth enamel, making the smile ripe for bacterial penetration and tooth decay.
Once gone, enamel does not grow back, so you can help to stop further damage to your child’s smile by limiting these acidic substances in their diet. Consider substituting citrus with less acidic fruits like apples. And try finding alternatives for sugar in recipes and snacks, like cinnamon or vanilla.
Pay attention to the ingredients in the foods and drinks you buy at the grocery store to avoid high amounts of hidden sugar. While consuming these items once in a while is okay, the excess could lead to dental problems.
Good Oral Hygiene Habits
The best way to fight cavities and reverse tooth decay is through good oral hygiene practices. This will include brushing your teeth twice a day at least and flossing on a daily basis. Kids might need help getting used to this habit and using optimal techniques to thoroughly clean their teeth.
Natural oral bacteria create plaque over teeth throughout your day. Your oral hygiene regimen scrubs these residues away before they can start to eat away at your smile and weaken your teeth. So consistent and proper oral hygiene will play a major role in preserving dental health.
Attending routine teeth cleanings at their dentist’s office will also maximize oral hygiene and protection for a child’s smile. Schedule these appointments with the pediatric dentist as directed.
Pediatric Preventative Dental Treatments
Your child’s dentist can notice early signs of decay and offer preventative dental treatments to stop this damage from progressing into cavities. This is why routine dental check-ups are so important. Early diagnosis and intervention can protect a child’s oral health.
The dentist might suggest dental sealants, an application of thin composite resin which hardens and creates a barrier over a tooth. This shields a tooth against harmful bacteria that might otherwise erode the dental structure.
A dentist could also give a young patient fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that absorbs into teeth to strengthen them. It will not replace lost enamel, but it can make the teeth better able to resist decay and other dental dangers. Find personalized preventative dental care and more when you visit a pediatric dentist.