If you have a child who loves to eat starchy foods and sweets, then you should be concerned about the development of cavities in the teeth. If this is a concern of yours, then you can work with your dentist to prevent cavities as best you can. There are a few different approaches that will be taken by the dental professional.
Identification of Tartar Formation
Your family dentist will ask you to bring your child into the family dental office at least once every six months for a cleaning and a dental checkup. The appointment allows the dentist to clean the tartar and plaque from the teeth and to also identify any areas of the mouth that are not cleaned properly. Poor cleaning can lead to large tartar accumulations which in turn allow for greater bacterial activity. And, this can eventually lead to the development of cavities.
Children will often not brush the molars or the back sides of the teeth. And, the dentist will provide advice on tactics to help your child clean these areas better to prevent cavity formation. One suggestion may involve the use of tablets or rinses that dye the plaque in the mouth a bright pink or blue color. The products identify the areas where your child should brush their teeth a bit better.
Help your child use the plaque disclosing product after they brush for the first time in the morning. This will show them where they need to brush again to properly clean the teeth. Over time, they will learn how to clean the mouth thoroughly and properly without having to use the plaque coloring product.
Fluoride is essential in keeping the teeth strong against cavities and your child's dentist will make some suggestions on how to increase fluoride use and consumption to keep the teeth healthy. He may ask your child to drink more water during the day. Tap water contains a good deal of fluoride and studies show that fluorinated water has actually decreased cavity formation in children by 18% to 40%.
In addition to the water, the dentist will suggest toothpastes that contain fluoride. Products meant for children are the best choice as they contain the right amount of fluoride for your child.
If the family dentist feels that additional fluoride is needed, then there are some treatments that can be offered. The most common one is a basic in-office fluoride rinse. And, the rinse can be offered with every dental checkup.
Sometimes, fluoride gels or films are placed on the teeth instead. This may be ideal if the dentist feels that more pinpointed application is needed due to the beginning stages of tooth decay.