Mouths are full of bacteria that, when they come in contact with the remains of sugary foods, produce acids. The acids eat through the enamel of teeth, creating holes which we call cavities. Fortunately, most cavities are preventable with good hygiene.
Here's how to keep cavity critters away from your child's teeth:
Fillings - No shots. No drills. No, really!
Should your child have a cavity, don’t worry. Most cavities are treatable with a filling.
Dr. O uses the most modern, innovative techniques and tools to provide pain-free, sedation-free treatments. With silent fast laser technology, he clears out the damaged part of the tooth, clearing the way for the filling material. And to keep that smile bright and safe, he uses tooth-colored fillings.
The specific approach will depend on:
Before starting treatment, Dr. O will discuss all options and help you select the best approach for your child.
Be Sealant Savvy!
Hard-to-reach teeth in the back of the mouth can be hard to reach with toothbrush. They also tend to be larger and often have deep crevices where food particles get stuck. Sealants help prevent food from getting stuck. Think of a sealant like a filling but used as a preventive measure.
No drilling required!
Essentially, the sealant fills in the deep crevices making it for food particles to make their way into them and cause cavities.
Typically, dentists seal permanent teeth, but occasionally there may be a need to seal baby tooth. Why sealants should last from several to many years, the hygienist will examine them closely to make sure they are intact. Sealants are an easy, pain-free, cost-effective way to prevent cavities.
Beware of hidden sugar. Fruits and even milk have sugar in them. Sugar is the doorway to cavity critters.
When sugar combines with the bacteria in the child’s mouth, it creates acid that erode tooth enamel, leaving holes or cavities.
Save snacks and treats for special occasions or at least don’t make them an everyday thing. Starting healthy eating habits early can set your child up for better long-term health.
If your child is old enough, you might consider letting them have sugar free gum sometimes. The chewing produces saliva which washes away food debris and neutralizes bacterial acid. Just be sure to look for a gum with ADA seal.
Make sure your superstar doesn’t loose a tooth out on the field!
Mouth guards are a must for any child who plays contact sports such as lacrosse, martial arts, skateboarding, baseball, football, soccer and other sports. Not only do mouth guards protect teeth, they also keep lips, cheeks and gums safe.
Mouthguards fall into three categories:
Ask Dr. O what type of mouthguard is right for your child given their age and the sport(s) they play. Be sure to look for one that is tear-resistant, easy to clean, comfortable and does not inhibit your child’s breathing.
Injuries & Emergencies
A knock-out punch
If your child’s tooth gets completely knocked out, you have about 30 minutes to save it.
Chips and Cracks
If your child has a large chip or crack, please call the office and get into see Dr. O ASAP. And try to locate and save the tooth fragment. For smaller chips or cracks, it’s ok to wait a day or two.
If your child has any pain associated with the injury, try using an ice pack to reduce swelling. Also, be sure to have your child rinse his or her mouth with warm water.
In many cases, Dr. O can fix the tooth by using filling material or bonding using a material that matches the tooth in color and texture. In more severe cases where the nerve is affected, he may need to use a more complicated treatment plan.
Tooth on the Move
Never try to move a tooth back in place. Come see Dr. O ASAP so he can assess the situation and determine the best treatment plan.