When it comes to your child’s dental health, preventative care is key. And according to pediatric dentists in Marietta GA, establishing a good oral hygiene routine is the best way to keep your child from facing issues with tooth decay. At Nia Pediatric Dentistry, we will use our knowledge and expertise to prevent your child’s smile from falling prey to tooth decay.
What is Tooth Decay?
According to pediatric dentists in Marietta GA, when your child experiences tooth decay, the enamel of their teeth become worn and broken down. As this decay progresses, it can lead to cavities, pain, infection, and even tooth loss.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Below are some of the ways your child could be at risk of developing tooth decay.
- High bacteria levels. While it is common for your child to have bacteria in their mouth, the higher the bacteria levels, the more likely they are to develop tooth decay.
- Insufficient saliva flow. Also known as xerostomia, when your child suffers from lower saliva levels, it’s much easier for damaging bacteria to cultivate in their mouth, which can lead to worn tooth enamel.
- Limited fluoride exposure. Fluoride works with the phosphate and calcium in your child’s tooth enamel to develop fluorapatite, which is extremely powerful and resistant to decay. As a result, it is important your child receives regular fluoride treatments.
- Diet rich in starches and sugars. If your child eats foods rich in sugar and does not properly cleanse their teeth afterwards, harmful bacteria can digest the remaining sugar particles and turn them into acid. This acid then breaks down the enamel of the teeth, which can lead to cavities.
- Poor oral hygiene. If your child does not practice good oral hygiene or regularly receive dental care every six months, they are much more likely to develop tooth decay.
How to Detect Tooth Decay
Pediatric dentists in Marietta GA understand that it can be difficult to detect tooth decay. However, noticing it in its earlier stages makes it much easier to correct before it creates dental issues that require intensive treatment. The process of tooth decay usually begins around the lines of the gums, where you may notice a white band on the surface of the teeth. As it worsens, this band of white will change to a brown, yellow or black color around the gum line, signaling that the decay has worsened. Then, as it reaches its more severe stages, the teeth will become black or brown. When this happens, it is imperative that you seek treatment for your child as soon as possible.
Preventing Tooth Decay
According to pediatric dentists in Marietta GA, preventative care is the best way to keep your child from experiencing tooth decay. As a result, they recommend putting the following practices into place.
- Begin tooth brushing at the appearance of your child’s first tooth. This not only promotes healthy dental habits but is sure to prevent the tooth enamel from wearing down.
- Start to floss your child’s teeth when they turn two. While it may seem a little early, implementing daily flossing at this age removes debris and sugar that could cause issues of tooth decay.
- Brush teeth at least twice per day. Multiple daily brushings are guaranteed to keep the enamel of the teeth strong and healthy.
- Prevent sharing saliva with your child. Since your mouth contains different bacteria than your child’s mouth, you want to prevent sharing saliva to protect them from exposure to harmful bacteria that could cause tooth decay.
- Eat healthy foods. By implementing a well-balanced diet for your child, you limit the starches and sugars that could potentially break down tooth enamel.
- Swap juice for water in your child’s bottle. Since juice tends to be high in sugar, put water in your baby’s bottle instead.
- Get fluoride treatments. Since fluorapatite plays an important role in keeping your child’s teeth healthy, make sure they receive regular fluoride treatments at their dental visits. Also, invest in a toothpaste that has fluoride in it to keep their teeth strong.
- Routine dental cleanings. Regular dental cleanings are guaranteed to prevent tooth decay.
Schedule a Dental Appointment with Pediatric Dentists in Marietta GA Today
Our pediatric dentists in Marietta GA will use their comprehensive care to avert issues of tooth decay before they arise. Contact Nia Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment for your child.
At Nia Pediatric Dentistry, we establish healthy dental habits early on to stop tooth decay in its tracks.