Kids and the dentist (III)
DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE CAVITIES YET DOESN’T EAT SWEETS? How is it possible that my child has cavities at such a young age? Are all cavities the result of eating sweets or are there other factors involved? Of course, your child’s teeth are influenced by many factors, according to our paediatric dentists:
- Mouth acidity should be checked via a saliva test that will indicate the mouth’s pH and its ability to buffer acids.
- A maternal or paternal predisposition to cavities may be a factor.
- Cavities can also be caused by diet, which the dentist will check along with oral hygiene, frequency and if the amount of fluoride is adequate or insufficient.
Can your child have weak enamel? Yes, and teeth can be more prone to cavities when they come in:
- There are children who have cavities from a very young age, which dentists say comes from “weak enamel”.
- Other children younger than 2 will have teeth that emerge with white spots that are impossible to remove and which soon change to brown, the teeth break and they hurt.
- Other children will always have a new cavity every time they go in for a check-up, regardless of how much they brush.
What does treatment from a paediatric dentist do in the case of weak enamel?
- It strengthens tooth enamel.
- It neutralizes the acid produced by plaque.
- It changes white spots to translucent in order to stimulate salivation.
These treatments are designed individually for high-risk infants, children under 2 with incipient cavities, white spots or those children who have aggressive cavities that progress rapidly, from white to caramel and then brown in a very short time or children who have lost tooth structure because of dental erosion and tooth wear.
Our dentists recommend preventative measures such as:
- Regular check-ups and better brushing, diet, and weekly, monthly or quarterly fluoride treatment.
- Sealant on all molars prone to cavities.
- Saliva tests to gauge the propensity for tooth decay.
What can we do at home if we have weak enamel?
- Maintaining perfect oral hygiene is a must. You have to start brushing teeth as soon as they emerge, from around the age of 6 months.
- Improve your diet. Your body can strengthen weak enamel by itself if you feed it the nutrients and minerals it needs. Green leafy vegetables, dairy products and proteins are good for strengthening weak enamel. Sea salt (unprocessed, unlike table salt) is a good source of minerals such as potassium, necessary for strengthening teeth.
- Refrain from snacking between meals. Control the amount of refined sugars and medicines with sucrose you consume.
- Remove processed baked goods from your diet. Watch the order in which foods are eaten (eating cereals and then cheese is not the same as eating cheese before cereals).
- Use the proper amount of fluorine according to age.
- Use plaque disclosing agents to identify problem areas with brushing.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash from the age of 5.