Children are constantly growing; their bones, muscles, teeth, and minds are developing at a pace quicker than a lot of us may truly realize. Because of this, it’s important to take steps to ensure that their health, especially their oral health, develops smoothly and without issue.
One of the biggest things that can interfere with your child’s teeth and gums is decay. Decay occurs because of bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup. If left untreated, it can also spread to other areas in your mouth and cause baby teeth to fall out sooner than they’re meant to.
For more information about children’s dentistry in Irvine, contact our local dental clinic today!
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay refers to holes that are left behind in your teeth due to food debris, excessive sugar consumption, and poor oral hygiene habits. These tiny holes are known as cavities, which are one of the most common dental problems. Even though anyone can have cavities, they are especially common in children and teens, mainly because they have trouble brushing and flossing at the very back of their mouths.
If you’re unsure whether you have a cavity or not, there are several signs that you can keep an eye out for. This includes the following:
- Sudden tooth pain.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- Pain when you eat and drink, particularly something sweet, or too hot or cold.
- Aches when you bite down on things.
- Holes in your teeth.
- Your tooth is started to darken.
To learn more about tooth decay in children, talk to a pedantic dentist; if you’re experiencing evident tooth decay as an adult, speaking with a general dentist or orthodontist near you is also wise. It’s important to seek dental care as soon as you’re able to prevent more serious damage from manifesting.
Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
Fortunately, there are a lot of different ways that you can prevent cavities from impacting both your oral health and your child’s. They are as follows:
- Brushing and flossing.
Even though brushing after each meal is ideal, brushing and flossing twice a day at the very least will keep your mouth clean and free of debris. It’ll also help freshen your breath.
One great aspect of seeking children’s dentistry near you is that pediatric dentists take the time to educate your child about the proper brushing methods and why it’s important.
- Come in for dental cleanings and checkups.
It’s recommended that you come in for a comprehensive dental cleaning about every six months.
Your dentist or orthodontist in Irvine will be able to identify and diagnose any oral health issue in addition to providing treatment before things can get out of hand. They’ll also be able to walk you through the best treatment for your unique case.
- Consider dental sealants for your child.
A sealant is a very thin, plastic covering that’s applied to your teeth to cover the grooves and fissures where food and bacteria can easily gather. Although they’re often applied to your back teeth, they can be applied to all your teeth.
Dental sealants are a great choice for kids. If they practice good oral habits, their sealants will last for several years before needing to be replaced.
- Consume healthy food and drink!
Sugar is a big culprit when it comes to cavity development. Fresh fruits and veggies increase the amount of saliva you generate, helping to wash away bacteria and other particles and therefore, cleaning your mouth.
- Receive fluoride treatment.
When you and your child come in to receive a typical dental cleaning, part of that appointment is receiving fluoride. Fluoride helps reduce cavities. It may come in the form of a foamy gel that is put into trays that fit over your teeth, or you may be asked to swish it around your mouth. If your teeth require further care, your dentist may suggest coming in to receive regular fluoride treatments outside of your biannual cleanings.
Are you looking to receive treatment for tooth decay for yourself or your child? At Irvine Orthodontics, we’ve got you covered! Our friendly staff is here to assist you and your family with all your dental needs. Call or visit our website to get started!