Pediatric Dentistry: How to Avoid Cavities

cavity-treatment

Teaching a child to brush and floss at a very young age is the best way to instill healthy oral hygiene habits as the child grows. Continue reading to learn how you can explain cavities and healthy hygiene practices to your child. 

How to Explain Cavities to Your Child

What Is a Cavity?

There is a bacteria in your mouth that has a funny name. It’s called a streptococci mutant. This bacteria likes to live on your teeth and loves to eat sugar. Whenever you eat sweet or sugary foods, the bacteria will eat the sugar and make an acid on your teeth. When you don’t brush or floss the sugar or acid off of your teeth, the acid will begin to erode or eat away at the surface of your teeth. Over time, this erosion will create a hole in your tooth called a cavity. Cavities can be very painful and if you don’t take care of them quickly, they can grow until the whole tooth is damaged. A damaged tooth can make it difficult to eat your favorite foods and may even need to be removed.

How Can I Protect My Teeth?

You can protect your teeth from cavities by brushing your teeth in the morning after you wake up and again right before you go to sleep at night. Your toothbrush will remove sugar from the surface of your teeth, but it can’t reach the sugar or bacteria that likes to hide between your teeth. This is why it is so important to floss every day to make sure the bacteria can’t hide and create a cavity between your teeth. Every six months, you should go to the dentist for a cleaning so that she can look for any cavities that might be hiding.

What Happens If I Get a Cavity?

If the dentist finds a cavity in your mouth, she will need to drill away the damaged part of your tooth. But don’t worry, the dentist will give you some medicine first so that you will be comfortable. Once the damaged part of your tooth is removed, the dentist will use a special material to fill the hole in and make it look good as new. This material is called a filling which will harden to protect your tooth from any more damage. 

Schedule Your Next Appointment in Greenville, NC

If you are looking for a dentist for your child, come to Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. We offer a variety of services including pediatric cavity treatment in Greenville, NC. Our staff is highly qualified to put your child at ease and provide whatever dental services he may require. Schedule an appointment today.

How Can Dental Sealants Protect Your Children’s Teeth?

dentist applying dental selants to a child's teeth with a purple light

Teaching children to brush and floss efficiently enough to prevent cavities can be a challenge for even the most diligent parents. Factor in all the juice and other sweets children get their hands on and it’s no wonder over 40 percent of kids under 11 develop cavities on their baby teeth. 

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to protect children’s teeth from plaque, bacteria, and decay. Many parents today are turning to dental sealants for help.

How Dental Sealants Work

So how can dental sealants protect your children’s teeth?

A dental sealant is a very thin layer of plastic coating that is applied to the surfaces of teeth. They are most often used on the back teeth where most chewing takes place. The sealant fills the grooves and crevices of the teeth to form a protective shield over the enamel. This protective shield forms a barrier between food and the actual tooth, making it more difficult for sugar and other harmful substances to attack the tooth.

Applying Sealants

Applying dental sealants is not a difficult process. Your children’s teeth will first be cleaned and dried. Then an acid substance is placed on the teeth to provide the sealants something to bond with. After rinsing and drying the teeth again, the sealant is then “painted” onto the teeth with a brush where it then hardens.

Dental sealants are recommended during the cavity-prone ages of six to 14. Dental sealants can last for up to 10 years and will be inspected for wear and tear during regular checkups. Many insurance companies provide coverage for the cost of dental sealants for patients under 18 years of age.  

Where to Get Dental Sealants for Your Children

Wilson Pediatric Dentistry is happy to provide dental sealants and other treatments for your child. We understand that visiting a dentist can be scary for a child and that’s why we’ve dedicated our practice to providing the best possible experience for young patients in a fun and comfortable environment. Our team has years of training and experience working with children, even ones who have had negative experiences at a dentist in the past.   

Schedule an appointment today for our Wooten Blvd location in Wilson, NC to help put a smile on your child’s face.    

How To Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets

With the constant influx of candy, cookies, and other sugary treats, the holiday season can take a toll on teeth. This is especially true for children, who would probably subsist on the sweet stuff if they were allowed. As a parent, you need to take extra steps to protect your kids from holiday sweets before their next dental visit.

You can also make sure that any extra holiday plaque is taken care of by scheduling your kids’ next dental cleaning at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry.

Ways to Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets Ahead of Their Next Dental Cleaning

Ration the Sweets

It is impossible to keep holiday sweets from your children completely, but you can lessen the negative health impact by dolling candy out over a long period of time. If you give your just a few sweets every couple of days, they’ll see it as a special treat and not a regular part of their diets. It can also be a fun way to count down the remaining days until they get their real gifts.

Be Wary of Hard Candies

All sweets can promote plaque buildup, but hard candies, like candy canes, pack extra risks. Children often lack the patience to wait for these candies to dissolve naturally, so they bite down. Doing so may lead to them breaking or chipping a tooth. Limit hard candies when possible and encourage kids not to bite.

Don’t Let Them Crack Nuts With Their Teeth

Your kids may be tempted to try to crack nuts open with their teeth after they see holiday nutcrackers do the same. Like hard candy, this also puts them at risk for fracturing teeth. Unlike hard candy, nuts are packed with healthy proteins and nutrients you want your kids to consume. Just make sure to give them pre-shelled nuts.

Their Teeth Aren’t Box Cutters

Children are often so enthusiastic to break in their new gifts, they throw all manners to the side and dig into the packaging with their teeth. This can lead them to damaging their teeth, cutting their gums, or getting something lodged between their teeth. When it comes time to open presents, keep a pair of scissors handy and brace yourself for flying wrapping paper.

Maintain a Routine

With all the traveling that comes with the season, it can be hard to maintain a regular schedule of brushing twice and flossing once daily. Unfortunately, it can be hard getting back into a habit once it’s broken. Make sure your kids brush and floss at around the same time every day, even when you’re on the road.

Schedule Strategically

Experts recommend you take your child in to see a pediatric dentist once every six months. You can get more out of these visits with smart planning. Schedule one of their regular dental cleanings for one of the weeks after the holidays. This will help them eliminate all the extra candy plaque and start the new year with fresh smiles.

Contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry to schedule your child’s dental cleaning to help them recover from the deluge of holiday sweets.