Managing tooth decay is a major concern for all of us, and especially for our children. In fact, tooth decay is the number one dental problem for children. And as much as 10% percent of childhood tooth decay (children ages 2 to 5 years) goes untreated according to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics. As a result, it’s important to understand and use methods of managing tooth decay to reduce or eliminate the problem with you and your family.
Tooth decay is caused by an acid which forms when certain bacteria in a person’s mouth reacts with certain food items such as starches and sugars. This acid extracts minerals from the very hard surface, or enamel, of a person’s teeth. If this continues, tooth decay develops. The secret to managing tooth decay is to eliminate or reduce this acid. Working with your Village Park dentist, you can take several steps at home which help to reduce or eliminate this acid in you and your children.
Perhaps the most important step in managing tooth decay is to pay attention to what foods and drinks you and your children consume. Foods such as bread and sodas are high in the starches and sugars bacteria use to produce the unwanted acid. These should be eliminated or minimized in your diet. Snacks such as chips, candies, fruit drinks, and desserts should be minimized. This is especially true of snacks eaten between meals. Also, any snacks after brushing and before bedtime should be eliminated.
Because the acid that forms in the mouth is continually removing important minerals from your teeth enamel, steps can be taken to assist your body in adding minerals. Fluoride is a mineral which acts in your mouth to restore your teeth’s enamel by causing it to absorb required minerals. Drinking fluorinated water is a good way to get fluoride. Water supplies in most parts of the country are treated with fluoride. It has been shown that in some cases early tooth decay can be entirely reversed and prevented. However, should the acid remove too many minerals, then a cavity results which must be repaired by your dentist.
Using fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash is also helpful. You might also talk with your dentist about dental sealants. Sealants are a thin film of special material which covers and seals important areas of the molars and chewing surfaces of your children’s teeth. This seal helps prevent food particles from lodging in the rough tooth surface where acid can form and lead to tooth decay.
Another important step in managing tooth decay is for you and your children to see a dentist on a regular basis. Village Park Family Dental is dedicated to providing the quality dental care for you and your children that you expect. Give us a call at 281-376-4444 and speak with one of our office staff to arrange an appointment. They will be happy to discuss with you any concerns you have. Good oral health practices as home along with regular dental visits helps give you the best possible dental care available. Call us today 281-376-4444.