As permanent teeth come in, talk to your dentist about having dental sealants applied to protect teeth from decay. A dental sealant is a clear material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay most often occurs. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting teeth from bacteria and the acid that attacks enamel.
Fluoride is one of the most effective agents for preventing tooth decay. Ask the dentist if your child is getting the proper amount of fluoride. The best way for your child to receive fluoride's protection is by drinking water containing the right amount of the mineral. Children who from birth drink water containing fluoride on average have up to 50 percent fewer cavities. Your dentist can provide fluoride supplements for your children if you live in a community that does not have optimally fluoridated drinking water. Your dentist may also recommend office fluoride treatments. Large Cavities Hiding Inside the Tooth
|Small hole that looks like a small cavity
||SAME tooth after the top part of the tooth is removed during cavity preparation.
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 two and four years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary 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, talk to your dentists.
Here are some ways 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.
Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede, or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.
Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss, and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Brushing and flossing daily helps to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods such as garlic or anchovies may create bad breath temporarily, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.