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Tooth Decay Prevention

Regular Dental Visits

In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is vital to have professional cleanings and regular check-ups. Therefore, your child should visit us twice a year (once every six months). At each appointment, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment.

Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting from the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur in the mouth and the sugars consumed in your child’s diet. When sugar is consumed by the bacteria, the bacteria produce acids. These acids break down the minerals in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists can remove the decay and fill the tooth using a tooth-colored composite filling or cover the tooth with a crown. Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental check-ups, diet control and fluoride treatment.

Diet Control

The teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Consuming sugary and starchy foods should be limited, including candies, cookies, chips and crackers. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth.

Sealants

The grooves that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) are extremely difficult to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria react with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Tooth sealants can protect these areas by sealing the grooves, preventing bacteria and food particles from accumulating. The sealants are made of a resin material that is applied to molars and any area prone to cavities. Sealants typically last into adulthood but are checked during regular appointments.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occuring substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking fluoridated water and daily brushing and flossing ensures significantly fewer cavities. Many, if not most, public water sources contain fluoridated water. There are also many kinds of toothpastes, mouthwashes and even some dental flosses that contain fluoride. If the dentist feels your child would benefit from a higher concentration of fluoride than what is available over-the-counter, he/she can prescribe a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste or discuss at-home prescription-strength fluoride trays.

Children’s Dentistry of Richmond

  • Children’s Dentistry of Richmond - 4025 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23223 Phone: (804) 321-6800 Fax: 804.321.8800

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