As a parent, you probably have a lot of questions for your child’s pediatric dentist. You know that teaching good toothbrushing skills to children can be difficult. Very young children may not have the necessary motor skills to brush and floss successfully. Older children may not like toothbrushing and often do not do a thorough…
How a Dentist for Kids Prevents Infection and Decay Spread
A dentist for kids educates children and their parents about ways to prevent tooth decay and infection. Cavities are contagious since the bacteria that cause them can be transferred by sharing kisses, eating utensils, and foods/beverages. Parents prioritizing oral hygiene reduce the risk of passing cavity-causing bacteria to their children.
Children are born without these decay-causing microorganisms in their mouths, but that typically changes quickly as their teeth begin to erupt. As bacteria populations grow in their mouth, the mutans streptococcus strain converts sugars in the mouth into acids that cause tooth decay. Bacteria also create plaque, a sticky film that houses them and the acids they produce. Plaque can be eliminated by brushing and flossing teeth, which is one of the reasons why oral hygiene is so important. Plaque hardens into tartar if left on teeth for more than a day. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing, so it gets to stay on teeth until a dentist removes it during teeth cleanings. Tartar also houses bacteria and the acids they make, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that about 40% of children between the ages of two and five have cavities. Cavities never go away on their own. Instead, they expand continuously until they cause part of the tooth to break off or infect the soft tissues in the pulp chamber.
How a dentist for kids prevents decay and infection spread
A dentist for kids prevents decay and infection by educating parents and children about proper brushing and flossing techniques. They also help to prevent decay and infection spread by performing preventative and restorative treatments like dental cleanings and crowns. Some of the treatments a pediatric dentist might use to prevent decay or infection from spreading include:
1. Fluoride treatments
Fluoride treatments are used to prevent tooth decay and reverse the first stage. Known as the demineralization stage, the first stage of tooth decay is reversible. Tooth decay typically has no symptoms at this point, so the early stages might go unnoticed unless a dentist spots it during a routine examination. Fluoride treatments can be completed in a few minutes and protect teeth against decay for up to six months. Some dentists routinely perform them after teeth cleaning treatments.
2. Dental fillings
Fillings are the first line of defense against cavities. These materials are used to close up the holes made by decay, preventing acids from further expanding them. The procedure typically involves numbing the area with a local anesthetic and removing decayed material from the tooth. The filling material is then pushed into the cavity and used to seal it. Composite resin fillings are the most popular variety these days since they can be color-matched with teeth.
3. Baby root canal
Baby root canals are recommended when a child’s tooth is infected. It prevents the infection from spreading and saves the infected tooth.
We stop cavities and infections
Our pediatric dentist performs preventative and restorative treatments that stop cavities and infections from spreading. Call or visit our Richmond clinic to set up an appointment.
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