When you look in your child’s mouth, you might notice there are spaces between lots of the teeth. When young mouths are still in the process of their teeth emerging, there will be space where the teeth should be. The other reason there is space is because adult teeth are larger than baby teeth and there needs to be space to accommodate adult teeth when the time comes. The amount of space between the teeth is not a reason to stop flossing. When you are brushing your child’s teeth only about a third of their mouth is being treated which is why your oral hygiene involves more than just tooth brushing. If you decide that you don’t need to have your child floss their teeth you should know the ramifications.
Smile Reef List Negative Consequences of Not Flossing Teeth
Bad Breath: When someone has bad breath it can be from many different causes. When it is a child, the list of possible reasons is a bit shorter. They are not smoking or taking medications that are usually associated with some form of halitosis. When a child has consistent bad breath it is often from food debris that is stuck between the teeth and near the gum line. When the food starts to build up it will emit sulfur that comes out in the form of halitosis. The only way to get in between the teeth in your mouth is to use floss.
Children Can Have Gum Disease: Your gums health is determined by several factors. The first is that they need to be massaged when you brush the teeth. This will help bring the blood flow to the top and cause them to be healthy. The other areas of the gums are in between the teeth and need to be addressed when you floss. When you stop brushing and especially flossing you will start to see blood when you finally do floss and brush. When you notice that your child’s gums are bleeding, it can be an early warning sign of gum disease. You can easily prevent gum disease when you floss and brush regularly.
Cavities: You may notice that there are gaps between most of your child’s teeth which is very common but that is not forever. The majority of the molars in a child’s mouth are touching and the food that gets stuck there will lead to decay in the form of a cavity. These cavities can cause pain and discomfort and if left untreated can lead to an abscess. The best way to prevent cavities is to start young and early with flossing each time the child brushes their teeth.
Pediatric Dental Services
If you want to be sure that your child is taking care of their teeth it is best to start young. When they are under five years old having an adult brush and floss as a follow up is a great way to ensure that it is done correctly. And having yearly exams with a pediatric dentist like Smile Reef is also key to catching problems early. Contact us to schedule your next appointment today!
What is a cavity? Cavities, also called dental caries are holes in teeth that can get bigger and deeper over time. These holes are caused by tooth decay which originates from plaque. Plaque is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on your teeth and is the main cause of tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque reacts with sugar in the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. Then acids are produced and will attack and weaken the enamel of our teeth. This is something we don’t want because the enamel of our teeth is the hard, protective coating. When enamel breaks down, teeth are left unprotected, making it easier for cavities to develop. We need to brush and floss every day to remove plaque. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that tooth decay is the most preventable chronic disease in children. Toddler tooth decay should be on every parents radar because 42% of children ages 2 to 11 develop a cavity in their primary teeth according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Where Can Cavities Form on Teeth?
1. Biting surface of teeth. The grooves and crevices on the top of our teeth can trap plaque and are more prone to decay in children because they haven’t mastered brushing techniques yet.
2. Between teeth. The areas between the teeth can be hard to reach and are difficult for toothbrushes to get to. These areas need to be flossed to prevent plaque buildup.
3. On root surfaces of teeth. These areas are more often affected in those who have suffered gum recession or bone loss. This area is also more susceptible in older people. Plaque left on exposed teeth can develop into cavities because the roots of teeth don’t have enamel protection.
Ways to Reverse Tooth Decay & Prevent Dental Cavities
1. Start brushing teeth early. Start rubbing your baby’s gums with gauze early on and when teeth start to appear, you can use a baby toothbrush and water to clean your baby’s teeth. As they get older you can get larger toothbrushes but help them until they are 8 to 10 years old as they don’t have the coordination to do it themselves until then. Start getting in the habit of flossing when your child’s teeth start to touch and monitor them until they have the hang of it.
2. Early dental visits. It’s recommended that your child starts making trips to the dentist when they are a year old. This gets them used to seeing the dentist and the dentist will be able to monitor the growth and development of their teeth.
3. Healthy snacks & drinks. To prevent the bacteria from food and drinks attacking teeth, it’s good to have your children enjoy snacks and drinks with as little sugar as possible.
4. Get enough fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that will help strengthen the enamel of the teeth and helps make them more resistant to decay. Talk with your dentist to make sure your child is getting enough.
5. Dental sealants. Think of sealants as little protective coats for your teeth. Sealants are clear barriers that are applied to the top of teeth for protection from decay.
Scheduling regular visits to the dentist throughout your child’s life is very important in preventing dental problems. Contact Smile Reef to make appointment to have their teeth examined today!