A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in youngsters aged 6 to 11. Regular checkups with a dentist, along with good oral hygiene practices, help children avoid developing cavities. During the exam, the dentist finds any cavities that have developed since the last checkup. The diseased areas are removed and filled with a blend of metals or composite resin. If this is not done, the decay can spread to adjacent teeth.
Spreading of Decay
When parents don't bring children to a dentist for routine exams, one cavity can turn into several. Although baby teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, cavities still must be prevented and managed if they occur. The problem can be painful, especially if it extends to more than one tooth.
A young child who needs extensive treatment might require sedation. Children of elementary school age or younger often have difficulty sitting quietly throughout the procedure.
Bacteria in the cavities can cause an infection that results in an abscess inside the tooth or the gum tissue. Not only is this very painful, but the infection can also harm the permanent teeth behind them. The adult teeth may become disfigured and discolored.
Inadequate Oral Hygiene
Dentists also are concerned that inadequate oral hygiene practices causing cavities in primary teeth will continue after the permanent ones grow in. The youngsters must learn the importance of brushing at least twice a day and flossing every day. They need to limit their intake of sugary substances, especially if they cannot brush for hours afterward.
Parents usually need to do the brushing until the child is age five or six. Younger children simply do not have the fine motor skills to do this effectively. The device should be one intended for kids rather than the larger adult size.
A Preventive Measure
When a young dental patient experiences this problem more than once, the dentist may recommend placing sealants on the molars. These teeth are harder for a child to reach. They also contain crevices that are more difficult to clean thoroughly.
Essential Dental Care
For all of these reasons, primary teeth should be cared for as diligently as permanent ones are. Regular dental checkups are essential for a child's health. By bringing young children to the dental clinic as recommended, parents help their kids feel comfortable with these appointments. The youngsters also learn the importance of properly caring for their teeth at home.
Contact a local dentist for more information.