Though the teeth of children aren’t permanent, it is incredibly important to take effective care of them. This helps to build good oral hygiene routine habits, as well as help the permanent teeth to begin in the best possible condition. At Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to provide the services that you need to keep your children’s teeth in the best condition possible. Children tend to be rather susceptible to cavities, which makes it vital to learn everything you can about how they form, how they spread, and how to stop them from escalating. If you are unsure about the presence of cavities in your children’s smiles, contact us to schedule an exam for them today! These services can be vital to ensure that your child’s smile remains bright, white, and healthy.
The Stages of Tooth Decay
Understanding the various stages of tooth decay can help you determine the best course of action to take to repair the damage to the tooth. There are three layers to the teeth: enamel, dentine, and pulp. The first stage of tooth decay is an enamel lesion, which is simply a minute lesion on the surface of the enamel. The second stage is enamel decay. This stage is when a cavity or hole has penetrated the layer of the enamel. The following stage is the dentine decay stage, which occurs when the bacteria penetrates into the dentine layer. This layer is far more porous and less resilient than enamel, which means that the bacteria will spread quickly through this layer.
The fourth stage of decay is pulp decay. This stage leads to a root canal infection and it is at this stage that root canals will be required to prevent the damage to the tooth from escalating. If the tooth decay still isn’t stopped by this point, it will lead to the formation of an abscess. This occurs when a pocket with pus forms around the root of the tooth. Following this point, the tooth will be lost entirely.
How to Stop the Spread of Tooth Decay
When tooth decay has occurred, it is vital to slow its spread as much as possible. Many of the procedures for avoiding cavities are the same techniques you can employ to stop the spread of tooth decay. Dietary changes can go a long way toward protecting the health of your teeth. Saliva production helps to rinse food particles and harmful bacteria from the surface of your teeth. This production can be stimulated through adding fiber to your diet, as well as ensuring that you remain hydrated.
A pristine oral hygiene routine is necessary to protect the health of your teeth. You must brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Brush for at least two minutes at a time and ensure that you focus on the damaged part of the tooth. Visit your dentist every six months and floss your teeth on a daily basis. Fluoride treatments can go a long way toward preventing the bacteria from spreading, as well as remineralizing the teeth. There are multiple methods for fluoride treatments, including toothpastes, rinses, and even gels.
If none of these techniques work, it will be vital to obtain the services of a dentist. The procedures to stop the tooth decay from spreading may include fillings, root canals, and even extractions. The appropriate method will depend primarily on the extent of damage the tooth has sustained.
Foods that Heal Cavities
Adding a few foods to your diet can help to protect your teeth and even heal cavities. Dairy is a useful addition to your diet, as it can significantly improve the pH levels in your mouth. This helps to harden the enamel of the teeth and eliminate a welcoming environment for bacteria to multiply. Dairy also contains calcium, which is vital for strong bones and teeth. Fruit and vegetables help to stimulate saliva production, which can help to remove harmful bacteria and food particles from your teeth.
Whole grains are another useful dietary addition. These foods contain B vitamins and iron, which helps to keep the gums healthy. Though this is not a food, it is important to drink adequate levels of water to protect your teeth. A dry mouth is an environment where bacteria can quickly grow and spread. Ensuring that you stay hydrated can prevent this from occurring, as well as rinse out existing bacteria and food particles. It is also useful to swish water in your mouth after consuming sugary foods, as it can help to rinse the sugar away.
Cavity Reversal Steps
Cavity reversal is done most effectively when done through the services of a dentist. However, there are a few ways to reverse cavities naturally. These techniques only function in the early stages of cavity formation, however. When the cavity has progressed to a certain degree, it will require the services of a dentist to protect the tooth. Nutrition is the key to reversing cavities in the teeth. To most effectively protect your teeth, you should add Vitamin D, calcium, natural probiotics, fiber, and healthy fats to your diet. You should also try to minimize your consumption of foods that contain phytic acid, because these foods can damage your teeth.
Fluoride treatments are another effective way to protect the teeth. It remineralizes them, strengthens the enamel, and prevents bacteria from continuing to spread. If these techniques do not help reverse the formation of cavities, it is likely that you will need to obtain the services of a dentist.
It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure that they can find and stop these problems in the early stages. These stages are when they are less expensive and painful to reverse. It is also important to maintain an excellent oral health regimen to prevent your teeth from sustaining significant amounts of damage. To learn more about the services that we offer, or to schedule your regular dental cleaning and exam, contact us at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry today!