Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. Most caries are mild, but they may negatively impact your quality of life. Although not as common, extremely severe, untreated caries can have significant health consequences.
What causes cavities, simplified:
Sugars right before bedtime skip the saliva step, and create acid for hours while sleeping, creating cavities during the entire night. (This is why brushing at night time is the most important!) Even natural sugars from milk or juice can cause cavities.
Frequent snacking or sipping during the day can cause severe decay as well. As an example, one glass of milk with lunch won't cause cavities, but the exact same glass of milk sipped on every 30 minutes all day for weeks on end will cause many cavities very quickly. Avoid constant grazing or sipping behaviors to avoid the most severe decay patterns.
Dr. Lucas has made an entire website devoted to help parents learn how to prevent cavities the easiest way possible. Parents from all over the world have signed up for his monthly newsletter. We will link to certain articles, but the main page can be found at TheDentistDad.com.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visits to your pediatric dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning. These visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. The sealant material is a clear or shaded plastic resin that is typically applied to the back teeth and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Prescription strength fluoride provided by the dentist is recommended every six months for those at normal risk for cavities. For those at high risk for cavities, fluoride treatments are recommended every three months according to the latest research. The dental team will evaluate your child's risk level for cavities as part of the dental check-up.
Children can experience the world of Disney during their next teeth cleaning or dental procedure.
We take pride in creating a welcoming and fun environment for our patients. Relax and play video games while you wait for your next appointment.
Play a game or two while you wait for your next appointment! Our play area is sanitized hourly and available for all patients.
I'll admit it. I am a big fluoride proponent, and use fluoride tooth paste and rinse on my own children. I think rinsing with it and using varnish has better benefits with less risk than swallowing it. 95% of our patients use fluoride, and it helps prevent cavities. However, we respect parent autonomy, and do have a small percentage of families that don't use fluoride. I can coach you how to stay cavity free without it, but you will have to work quite a bit harder to do it in today's modern world. Of course, this is assuming you have the goal of healthy teeth. Nobody expects perfection, but talking about things in a open and honest way, we can help keep our kids as healthy as we can. Make sure to schedule on a Dr. Lucas day and ask me what the extra tips are for non-fluoride users in person.