Options in the dental care of children for Mississauga patients.
Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness. In order for
parents to consider their options to avoid and reverse this situation,
it’s important that they understand how cavities occur. Dentistry on 10
is the practice Mississauga parents trust for dental treatment for their
children. Dr. Rina Kotecha explains what’s going on in little mouths
that leads to tooth decay.
About 600 strains of bacteria make their home in the mouth. Some are beneficial, but others play a leading role in the development of cavities. Dental plaque is a transparent, sticky film of bacteria with bits of food debris. Bacteria feast on sugars in the food your child eats, and then excrete acids that compromise enamel, the protective outer layer of teeth.
At the same time, minerals like calcium and phosphate in saliva, and fluoride from water, toothpaste, or treatments are helping to repair tooth enamel.
Cavities occur when teeth are frequently exposed to acids. White spots usually appear first, as tooth enamel begins to lose minerals. At this point, decay can be halted and reversed. However, if no change is made to the circumstances, areas of enamel will be destroyed, forming cavities. This damage is permanent and has to be repaired with a filling to prevent further spread of decay, infection, and discomfort.
As a caring parent, you have a great deal of influence over your child’s oral wellness. Dr. Kotecha shares these tips:
- Start good oral habits early. Rub gums with a clean, damp washcloth after feeding, to get baby used to the routine. Begin brushing the first teeth to erupt with a soft, child-sized toothbrush. Teach your young child to brush and floss by the age of five.
- Encourage a nutritious, balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and, of course, plenty of plain water. Limit sweet snacks and soft drinks.
- Once the first tooth is in, or by baby’s first birthday, keep regular examination appointments at Dentistry on 10. These visits allow Dr. Kotecha to watch for potential problems and make sure teeth and mouth are developing properly.
- Consider fluoride treatments (a clear gel or varnish brushed onto teeth) to help reverse demineralization of enamel.
- Ask Dr. Kotecha if dental sealants are right for your child. This colorless glaze seals the chewing surfaces of teeth to reduce acid attack.
- Set a good example. Let your child see you eating healthy foods, taking care of your teeth, and going to the dentist regularly.
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