Health & Fitness

Bad Habit

Do Your Kids Have Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay affects the teeth of people of all ages and races. Most dentists agree that it is, however, more rampant in young children and teenagers compared to the adults and seniors.
There are several reasons why tooth decay is more prevalent in children than in adults and the elderly. But the main cause today is often the over-consumption of sugar rich food — something that less supervised children manage to achieve more easily.
We all know (and remember) that children love sweets and probably won’t limit themselves to the number of times that they snack. Especially, if their parents or babysitters are too busy, children today often end up consuming very high amounts of sugar.
And, with the hectic schedules we all have today, parents may not be able to ensure that their children observe good oral hygiene. Children are not likely to wash their teeth the recommended number of times per day without direct sugar sticks on the teeth and over time can and usually does cause tooth decay.
How It Happens
The remains of these sticky and sugary foods combined with saliva and the common bacteria found in the mouth of these children will eventually end up forming plaque.
This plaque will build up along the gum line and any other teeth surfaces which are difficult to brush.
Once it accumulates for some period of time, it solidifies to form tartar.
These two enemies – tartar and plaque, – contain a harmful acid which causes damage to the happens over some time and occurs by dissolving the enamel. Once the enamel is dissolved, holes are formed.These holes are the cavities you wince at finding when at your child’s dental check up.
Cavities formed this way can sit there silent and not causing any obvious problem. But then, when you, the parent, take your child for a routine checkup at the dental clinic, you will find it is too late to prevent or minimize them. At that point, your children’s dentist will find them and discuss with parents or caretakers the options available to deal with the problem.
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If these cavities are left to develop for a long time, they progress from the enamel. And, after eating through the enamel, they get to the inner part of the tooth that houses the nerves. Ouch!
When the part of the tooth containing the nerves is attacked, your kids will feel pain when brushing his teeth or Hairline Jaw Fracture After Tooth Extraction when taking very hot or very cold food or drinks. At this time, most parents decide it is time to see a dentist.
When the dentist diagnoses the problem, she can recommend several methods to solve the problem. She might decide to use fillings to seal the cavity for the young children or use a crown or root canal for the teenagers – if the damage has gone too far into the tooth and gums.
The Next Steps
Your dentist will ensure that the cavity is dealt with as soon as possible. Timeliness is vital since if not well sealed, it might develop into an abscess which is quite painful. She will also take her time to advise parents on the best way to prevent any recurrence of the problem. And,give guidelines to ensure that the remaining teeth are not affected. One way often recommended is for parents to bring their children back to the clinic twice a year for regular dental check ups.
Remember to check with the school and caretakers of your children. Ask them what steps they are taking to supervise sweets intake. Also suggest that they provide a break time specifically for a quick tooth brushing after the sweetest meal or snack. And don’t forget to help your kids floss at night!
Dr Karen Chu – Children’s Dentist – Phoenix, AZ