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Archive for the ‘Tooth Decay’ Category

Good or Bad? Are Fluoride Toothpaste & Treatments to Strengthen Tooth Enamel Safe for Babies & Toddlers?

Smile Reef

Tooth decay is incredibly common in children. As dental providers and parents, we want to do everything we can to avoid the little ones from getting cavities. Fluoride is one of the key ingredients to minimize cavities and strengthen teeth. Understanding the structure of teeth can help you get a better grasp on how fluoride is beneficial. We at Smile Reef would like to take an opportunity to discuss the importance of fluoride.

Tooth Enamel Definition

Enamel covers the outer layer of each tooth and is the most visible part of the tooth. Enamel protects teeth from the constant impact of daily use as enamel is the teeth’s outer layer. The enamel is strong and serves as a barrier to keep the nerves from feeling any kind of pressure when the kids eat foods, especially crunchy apples and carrots. In a nutshell, the enamel is the exterior casing of the tooth. Unfortunately, enamel is not invincible; over time it can wear away or even break apart and sustain damage.

What Causes Weak Tooth Enamel?

Children that eat a lot of sugar and drink soda regularly along with poor oral hygiene habits can experience a loss in enamel. As the enamel wears, the tooth will start to decay from the bacteria that settle on teeth and secrete an acid that attacks the tooth itself. The acid produced from the bacteria eats the enamel. As the enamel is weakened the acid will then start to deteriorate the tooth at a faster rate. A naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel is fluoride. With the increased strength of the enamel, the acid cannot penetrate through it so easily, preventing tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are ideally recommended on an annual basis with your dentist, but children who are genetically prone to tooth decay may need more frequent fluoride treatments. The long-term oral health and longevity of children’s teeth can be better improved with stronger teeth.

Fluoride Treatments Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Fluoride treatments are especially simple and does not cause any discomfort for your child. The dentist will generally apply the fluoride directly to their teeth and after a short time, the fluoride will begin to strengthen the enamel; from there the fluoride is thoroughly removed. The fluoride does not cause any kind of irritation and has distinct smells or tastes. More often than not, the kids do not notice they are even getting a treatment and fewer ever complain about the treatment. The fluoride treatment is one of the most simplistic and beneficial treatments your kids will experience. It is recommended by experts that kids should visit their pediatric dentist once a quarter for those with extreme cases where kids are experiencing significant dental decay. But the average is fluoride treatments once or twice year. The frequency is really dictated by the child’s individual health of their teeth.

Enamel Hardening Toothpaste

To help ensure your children are getting fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel, experts encourage parents to have the kids brush their teeth a fluoride enriched toothpaste. Doing so will further strengthen their teeth and augment the treatments performed by the dentist.

Pediatric Dentistry

If your child or children are due for their dental visit, schedule an appointment with Smile Reef today and during their routine exam we can discuss fluoride treatment and optimal ways you can incorporate it for your child’s oral hygiene routine.

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What Do Cavities Look Like in Babies & Toddlers? Does Your Child Need Cavity Treatment?

Smile Reef

Most parents will do all they can to keep their children safe and cared for. That means regular visits to the doctor, good healthy meals, education and of course regular visits to the dentist! The first exposure that your child will have with oral hygiene is at home. It should begin well before your child can brush their own teeth. The care provider should do some oral cleaning at home and get them to a pediatric dentist when teeth start to appear. With that being said there are some things that you might be doing that could be causing your child to be at a higher risk for tooth decay and cavities.

Smile Reef Explains Baby Bottle Tooth Decay & How to Prevent it

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Of course your baby needs to have access to hydrating drinks. Mothers will use a bottle to feed their small children and babies but there are some things that you might be doing that could increase the child’s risk for cavities. If you are giving your child sugary drinks in their bottle and allowing them access to it throughout the day the child will have a larger chance of developing cavities. Small children and babies don’t take a sip and go about their day they will suck on the bottle for some time and even allow the drink to stay in their mouth. This amount of sugar will start to stick to their teeth and eventually decay their teeth.
Signs Of Tooth Decay: The signs of tooth decay in an older child or an adult are different than a baby that has baby bottle tooth decay. If you have concerns that your baby has baby bottle tooth decay you can look for small white spots on their gums. They may also appear on their teeth which is a very early sign that tooth decay has commenced. If the decay has gotten worse, the dark brown discolorations will start to appear. The baby may also start to be restless and show signs of not feeling well. They may even have swollen areas on their gums and around their teeth.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Treatment: Infants under the age of 6 months do not need a bottle when they lay down as they get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula. Older children may like the bottle more as a comfort and water is the best option. Any other drink will sit on their gums and teeth until they are awake the next morning. You also will need to take on the role of oral hygiene for the child. They are often too small to hold their toothbrush and do a good job. After the child has had a bottle you want to be sure that you take time to clean their mouth out and remove as much of the acidic and sugary substances that may be left behind.

Dentists for Infants & Older Children

Smile Reef offers pediatric dentistry to help control and treat tooth decay from baby bottles and other causes. Contact us to schedule your next appointment today!

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