Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occurs on the teeth and sugars in your everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria which produces acids that break down the mineral in teeth forming a cavity. Nerve damage in a tooth can result from severe decay and may require a crown or extraction. A crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth making it stronger by covering it. Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen which includes brushing and flossing twice daily, regular dental checkups, diet control, proper nutrition, and fluoride treatments. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
Tooth sealants protect susceptible areas by sealing grooves and depressions in teeth, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. For more on dental sealants, visit our Sealants page.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing daily ensures a significantly lower risk for cavities.
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years of age. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of permanent teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, please address this with our team.
Here are some ways to help your child outgrow thumb sucking:
- Don’t scold a child when they exhibit thumb sucking behavior. Instead, praise them when they don’t thumb suck.
- Focus on eliminating the cause of anxiety. Thumb sucking is a comfort device that helps children cope with stress or discomfort.
- Praise them when they refrain from the habit during difficult periods.
- Place a bandage on the thumb or a sock on their hand at night.
- Visit www.tguard.com to view and/or order a thumb or finger guard device that Dr. Ann and our team finds highly effective. The guards are reasonably priced and have a money back guarantee.