Keeping your child’s teeth healthy goes beyond brushing them regularly. While regular brushing and flossing are essential for a healthy mouth, there are some common pediatric dental problems that brushing alone can not solve. You can take steps to make sure that your child’s teeth are healthy and strong so that your next visit to the pediatric dentist is a breeze. If your child has any of these common dental problems, ask your pediatric dentist about preventative measures.
Use fluoride to strengthen weakened enamel.
Enamel is the hard, protective layer that covers healthy teeth. Tooth enamel protects teeth from bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay, and it also prevents sensitivity to temperature and sweetness.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents tooth decay. Fluoride hardens the enamel of growing teeth in children whose teeth aren’t fully developed. Additionally, fluoride contributes to the hardening of enamel on adult teeth, which have already emerged.
There are a variety of fluoride treatment options available to your child, including fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses, and professional fluoride applications. The topical treatments help to strengthen the enamel of existing teeth.
Fluoride treatments are an excellent way to prevent tooth decay and other common pediatric dental problems.
Remove any plaque or tartar buildup.
You should not substitute regular brushing for professional cleanings, even if your child is a pro at brushing their teeth. Plaque and tartar buildup can’t be removed by regular brushing alone, so dental cleanings can help prevent common pediatric dental problems like cavities or more serious issues like abscessed teeth.
Prevent cavities with a healthy diet.
Cavities caused by tooth decay are a common pediatric dental problem. If your child consumes the wrong foods, their diet can play a major role in causing tooth decay. Parents should take note of what foods can cause tooth problems and try to cut them out of children’s diets.
When it comes to tooth decay, sugar is the number one culprit, so limit your child’s sugar intake wherever you can. Sugar becomes a food source for bacteria when it gets on your child’s teeth. Sugar is converted into acids by bacteria, leading to decay and cavities in the teeth.
Sticky, sugary foods, such as fruit snacks and dried fruit, should be avoided. Sugars from these foods stick to teeth, giving bacteria plenty of time to feed on them. You should also avoid starchy snacks made from refined carbohydrates. As these starches break down, they form a sticky, sugary paste that bacteria feed on.
Brushing and flossing after eating can reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay and the need for dental treatment in the future.
Dental sealants prevent tooth decay.
Around the age of six, your child’s permanent teeth begin to emerge. There are various pits and fissures on the surface of these adult teeth, which provide a breeding ground for bacteria that cause cavities. Children often struggle to brush well enough to clean out the crevices in their teeth, making cavities incredibly common.
Dental sealants are plastic-like coatings that cover your child’s chewing surfaces. Specifically, they work best on teeth with large chewing surfaces, such as molars. When applied to your child’s permanent teeth, dental sealants prevent food from getting stuck in the crevices and thereby help prevent tooth decay. It is impossible for saliva, bacteria, and food particles to penetrate dental sealants.
When properly cared for, dental sealants can last for up to ten years. All the while, they will be diligently working to prevent common pediatric dental problems and to ensure that your child’s teeth remain in good health.
Regular dental checkups are one of the best ways to prevent common pediatric dental problems. Our Flower Mound TX pediatric dentist will examine their teeth to ensure that there are no early signs of tooth decay or other problems. To schedule an appointment, please contact Whittington Pediatric Dentistry of Flower Mound.