When you spend a good amount of time and effort in the area of oral health, seeing your child struggle with tooth decay can be more than frustrating. We have all been told time and time again that cavities can be prevented – and they can! Although sometimes extra attention is needed. Consider these hidden factors and how to address them if you are concerned about tooth decay in your children or yourself.
The shape of a tooth can make it especially vulnerable to cavities. For instance, we often detect cavities on the molars, and also the premolars. The teeth situated at the back of the mouth have a larger chewing surface. On that surface, there may be a deep crevice. The depth of the grooves on a posterior tooth may trap food debris and bacteria, creating the prime conditions for decay. To prevent this accumulation, the dentist may apply dental sealants to the chewing surface of back teeth. This liquid product hardens to form a barrier on top of the deeper surface.
The way that teeth fit together can either make them easier to maintain or more difficult. Teeth that overlap have tiny corners that are very much like the cavernous grooves on back teeth. Bacteria and food debris can become stuck in these corners, where the acidic byproduct deposited by those microorganisms eats away healthy enamel. Speak with your child’s dentist about an early orthodontic evaluation, or about braces if your child is older.
Dry mouth is typically associated with older individuals. However, if a child does not consume adequate amounts of water throughout the day, it is possible that saliva flow will decrease, and this reduction could spell trouble. Saliva washes over the teeth and also dilutes residue that could support oral bacteria. To minimize the chances of dry mouth, encourage your child to sip water at least every hour. Gum sweetened with xylitol is another way to help maintain moisture in the mouth.
We love supporting children in their development of healthy oral care and healthy smiles. Call Children 1st Dental & Surgery Center to learn more about our services.