Your Child’s Dental Care: True or False
At General Dentistry 4 Kids, we know there are many different facts and opinions about what can help or hurt your children’s oral care. As you partner in taking care of your family, we want to make sure you have the right information about how to deal with your child’s dental health and avoid any surprises at your next visit to General Dentistry 4 Kids.
False! Sugar is definitely a factor, but it is the bacteria producing acid in your mouth that is the cause of cavities. Bacteria produces acid when you eat carbohydrates. Once the acid has created a cavity, bacteria can easily live inside protected from brushing and flossing and continue to create acid, making a cavity larger.
Several carbohydrates include rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, vegetables, and of course, sugar. It’s really not the amount of carbs you eat, but the length of time your teeth are exposed. Most kids don’t brush their teeth during the day so exposure is prolonged between brushings, and with so many sugary drinks and snacks out there, the exposure to carbohydrates is much higher.
Acidic Foods such as lemons cause tooth decay.
True! Although acidic foods and drinks don’t cause cavities, they tear down the enamel and weaken teeth. Once you lose the enamel’s protection and expose the underlying dentin, teeth are prone to decay, according to Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, an American Dental Association consumer adviser.
Also, keep in mind that aspirin is acidic. You may have heard that placing an aspirin tablet directly next to your tooth can help with the pain, but placing it there may burn your gum tissue, causing an abscess. Aspirin is meant to be swallowed and works much better in your bloodstream.
All fillings need eventual replacement.
False! Fillings are built to last. Amalgam or composite fillings only need to be replaced when a cavity forms around it, if it breaks down, or if a tooth fractures. It mainly depends on tooth wear and oral hygiene habits. Giving your child the good habits of daily brushing and flossing will ensure that the odds will be in favor of a lasting filling.
Cavities can easily be detected.
False! Pain only comes when tooth decay is advanced. Mild tooth decay doesn’t cause symptoms and does not repair itself. It is important to make scheduled visits to the dentist. Preventative measures are much better than the more expensive and painful “fixes”, such as root canals.
Decaying stops once a tooth has been treated.
True! Yes, it is true, but only for the part that was treated. Other areas of the tooth are still prone to decay, but the cavity filling, along with good hygiene habits will not typically decay in that spot again. Keep in mind that fillings may get old and chip on the edges where it meets the tooth, creating a difficult area to clean out so bacteria can still get in and begin to decay around the filling.
Cavities are more often between teeth.
True! Anywhere you can’t reach with a brush or with floss is a good place for bacteria to hide. Tight teeth can make flossing difficult or nearly impossible for a lot of people. Mouth rinse with fluoride can give you more protection in areas that can’t be reached.
Baby teeth don’t get cavities.
False! Baby teeth are placeholders for more permanent teeth. Many parents think that it is not a big deal because these will fall out and be replaced. It is very dangerous to disregard any cavities that form in a child’s baby teeth. If left untreated, serious pain and abscesses can form. Infections can develop and spread to other areas of the body, and can even result in death on rare occasions.
Brushing everyday is the best way to prevent cavities.
True! Prevention is key. Brushing at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes, and flossing at least once a day will help battle bacteria. Antimicrobial rinses reduce plaque, bad breath, lessen gingivitis, and mainly kill bacteria. Fluoride rinses make teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. There are now Fluoride rinses made especially for children that are mild enough for their sensitive mouth. Make sure your child brushes every morning and before he or she goes to bed to avoid food sitting on their teeth and gums all night long.
General Dentistry 4 Kids knows that good techniques in your daily brushing makes quite a difference in your oral health. Here are some tips to show your child how to brush effectively.
- Choose the correct size toothbrush for your child – remember they are not adults.
- Angle the brush at a 45 degree angle onto the tooth and into the gum line.
- Using a soft-bristled brush, brush in a gentle motion.
- Don’t use too much pressure, and don’t over-scrub.
- Don’t miss any teeth – with a child-sized brush, your child should be able to reach every molar in the back of their mouth.
Now what is definitely true–and could never be false!– is that here at General Dentistry 4 Kids, we care about your child’s oral health. As always if your have any questions or inquiries concerning your child’s dental healthcare please feel free to ask our professional and knowledgeable staff! They will always tell you the truth!