According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay or “cavities” is the most common chronic condition of childhood and responsible for the most absences from school. In addition, the American Dental Association states that children with tooth decay are more likely to have tooth decay as adults.
Many people think that baby teeth are “just going to fall out”, so what’s the big deal? Did you know that baby teeth hold the space for permanent or adult teeth? If a baby tooth needs to be removed due to infection or deep cavities, the space is lost and the permanent teeth are more likely to come in crooked or even impacted. This can create the need for extensive orthodontic treatment and even surgery to correct this.
Did you know that tooth decay is an infectious and contagious disease? Cavities in your mouth can spread rapidly if not treated within a timely manner, infecting other teeth in the mouth. If not treated, tooth decay will continue to grow bacteria that eats away at the healthy tooth material in your mouth eventually causing pain and even infections. You can also spread cavities to other persons by the sharing for drinks, foods, and even kissing.
So how can you prevent tooth decay? Let our Highlands Ranch dentists, Dr. Parsons and Dr. DeLapp help! Here are some of their recommendations:
The first step is proper oral habits including regular brushing and flossing. We recommend you brush at least 2x a day for at least 2 minutes. We love the use of electric toothbrushes and highly recommend the Sonicare toothbrush, they even make one for kids! Check out the kids Sonicare tooth brush available on Amazon here. We also recommend interproximal, or between your teeth, cleaning. The most common way of doing so is with dental floss. We also recommend a Waterpik to help with interdental cleaning and treatment of gingivitis and prevention of periodontal disease.
Second, you must practice good dietary habits. Now, we all have days where we indulge, but it is important to not over indulge on sugary sweets, candies, sodas, and processed foods. Stick to meats, vegetables, fruits, unprocessed carbohydrates, and dairy.
Third, remove that water filter! We are lucky to live in beautiful Highlands Ranch, Colorado where we have access to the most wonderful tasting water. Did you know that water is optimally fluoridated to help prevent tooth decay? Water fluoridation is the most successful health initiative to date. Without fluoride in our water, tooth decay would be more rampant than it already is. So drink up and allow the fluoride to help bond to your tooth structure where it fights against harmful tooth bacteria that causes cavities.
Fourth, try some cavity fighting tooth products. We love the CariFree products. They help fight tooth decay by balancing the pH in your mouth. Did you know that cavity causing bacteria love acidic environments? CariFree brings the pH of your mouth back to neutral giving your body’s own natural resources the ability to fight off cavity causing bacteria. Want to know more about CariFree, check out their website here.