Keep Molar Decay at Bay
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth make acids that eat away at the teeth, causing a hole or a cavity that can cause pain, infection and tooth loss. Helping your child protect his or her permanent molars from the effects of decay can save a world of hurt down the road. Here are some tips to help you ensure that those hard-to-reach back teeth stay as healthy as possible:
- Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth twice each day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. You may need to help your child brush until the age of seven or eight years to ensure he or she is reaching all teeth properly. Also, make sure your child rinses thoroughly and does not swallow the toothpaste.
- Limit your child’s intake of snacks, sugary beverages and even fruit juice, which can contain acids that erode tooth enamel. Have your child rinse after drinking juice or a beverage containing sugar, or after eating a snack that contains sugars or starches, both of which can increase the amount of acid in the mouth.
- Delay brushing until at least 30 minutes after a meal. Thanks to an increase in the production of food-dissolving acids, tooth enamel can soften when we eat. It takes about 30 minutes for it to re-harden. After that time has passed, your child can brush without fear of damaging the softened enamel.
- Bring your child to us for regular checkups. Your child may not care for visits to the dentist, but you aren’t doing him or her any favors by giving in and postponing care or cancelling visits. Regular checkups can spot early signs of decay and other oral health problems that are best treated in their earliest stages. We can also provide fluoride treatments to help protect your child’s teeth from decay.
- Use dental sealants on your child’s molars. Dental sealants are clear, protective coatings we brush onto tooth surfaces. Most commonly used on molars, they can be beneficial when used on any tooth surface that’s grooved or ridged. Sealants should be applied as soon as molars emerge, before decay has a chance to get a foothold. Watch for the emergence of your child’s molars, which typically come in between the ages of five and seven and again between the ages of 11 and 14 years.
Dr. Jared and his clinical team can help you learn more about how to protect your child from tooth decay. Schedule an appointment for him or her today at KiDDS Dental. Together, we can combat decay on your child’s permanent molars.
Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!