Four things are necessary for cavities to form: a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates and time. You can prevent tooth decay by visiting us early in your child’s development, by at least the age of two and then establishing routine examinations and other preventative treatment every six months. Realize that a child does not develop enough manual dexterity to brush and floss until eight or nine years of age and then should be supervised until they reach an age of 12-13 (this will vary from child to child). Help your child brush and floss a minimum of two times daily. Develop healthy diet habits.
Nursing or Baby Bottle decay is a dental condition that can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child. It is caused by the frequent exposure of a child’s teeth for long periods of time to liquids containing sugars. Among these liquids are milk, formulas, juices and other sweetened liquids. At risk are children that have a sugary drink at bedtime or while taking a nap. During sleep the flow of salvia decreases, allowing the liquids in the bottle or sippy cup to pool around the child’s teeth for long periods causing decay.
Thumb sucking is a common habit among children. However, if the child aggressively sucks his/her thumb after the age of four (4) or five (5), then stopping the behavior becomes important. Thumb sucking can cause the upper teeth to tip toward the lips or lower teeth to tip toward the tongue. Also once permanent teeth erupt, the palate can be affected as well.
We do not recommend professional whitening of patient’s teeth until after orthodontic treatment, if necessary, is complete and they are sixteen years of age.