The odds that your child will have more cavities than his friends and classmates increase as the amount of sugar that he consumes does. His eating habits also play a role in the higher risk for cavities. The more often your child eats during the day the more he is exposed to the acid content of certain foods and drinks. Three meals a day would be the ideal but it is unrealistic to try to eliminate in between meal snacking throughout the day especially once your child is of school age.
The first visible signs of tooth decay are the white spots that appear on the surface of the tooth. The spots indicate the beginning of the demineralization of the protective enamel coating on your child’s teeth. If demineralization is allowed to progress it will eventually break down the enamel stripping it of calcium and leaving the inner pulp of the tooth open to the infectious bacteria which causes cavities. This destructive process can often be reversed with an extra application of fluoride.
Fluoride is an element that is found in many dental products on the market today. You would be hard pressed to get through the toothpaste aisle in your local drugstore and not see the advertising claiming fluoride content on the boxes that are displayed there. Fluoride mouthwashes are also beneficial in the fight against childhood cavities. But these products, as good as they are sometimes aren’t enough.
In-office fluoride treatments are recommended in cases of children who have been determined to be at a higher risk for cavities. The treatments use a high concentration of fluoride contained in a paste type substance that is “painted” directly onto the surface of your child’s teeth. The coating should be left to set before brushing. There is also medication available in pill or droplet form. The fluoride substance that is applied to the teeth will continue to work to remineralize the enamel well after it has hardened. The treatment is recommended by the American Dental Association.
Dr. Peterson is now accepting new patients at Epic Dentistry for Kids in Aurora. Call the office @ 720-721-3600 to make your appointment.