If you have experienced a decayed tooth, you can begin to imagine how uncomfortable it would be for a kid. Unfortunately, tooth decay plagues many children that it should largely due to their sweet tooth. Sodas, candy, chocolate and other sweet bites loved by children are the source of tooth trouble.
How does it happen?
The mouth has naturally occurring bacteria. When you eat food containing sugar and starch like soda, candy or sweets, some of it sticks on the teeth and gums. When bacteria feed on these sugars, acid is produced. This acid eats into the tooth enamel over time, making a cavity.
An appearance of a white spot on the tooth is a sign that the enamel has worn away and weakened. Dr. Rob Andrew says at this point the decay can be reversed. Saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate, and also fluoride from toothpaste. The tooth enamel can gradually build up again over time with good dental hygiene. If this is not done, a cavity develops which can only be remedied by filling.
Preventing tooth decay
The best fight against tooth decay is good dental hygiene. The mineral Fluoride, commonly found in toothpaste, is the best defense against tooth decay. It can stop and reverse decay. It replaces minerals lost and weakens acid producing bacteria. Apart from toothpaste, the Urban Smiles Family Dental clinic says that fluoride is in other sources;
- Fluorinated water from water wells. However, this should be taken with care as water containing excessive fluoride can stain the teeth leading to brown teeth.
- Fluoride gels and varnish that can be applied on the teeth
- Mouth rinse containing fluoride
Proper and regular brushing of the teeth with toothpaste is the best way of getting rid of leftover food particles sticking to the teeth and gums. Children should be assisted and taught how to brush teeth until they are about 7 or 8 years of age.
Visiting to the dentists
Regular dental checkups can identify any sign of tooth decay and remedy any damage. If a child has decay on the permanent teeth, filling could be considered. The dentist can also apply a sealant on the molars and pre-molars to avoid food being trapped in the ridges.
Reducing sugary foods
Eating of Candy, soda, biscuits and other sweet snacks should be reduced. Encourage your child to eat these foods after meals and then brush his/her teeth immediately afterwards.
Urban Smiles Family Dental