Prevention For Adults:
We all have bacteria in our mouths, but some are good and some are bad bacteria. Some bad bacteria make plaque and work with the sugars and starches in your mouth to make acid. If that plaque and acid is not cleaned away regularly, it erodes the teeth and creates cavities. That process can lead to more than just an embarrassing smile or a mouth full of fillings. Research shows that the bacteria and their byproducts can find their way to other vital organs and contribute to things like heart disease.
Prevention For Teens:
It is hard to monitor how well your teenager is cleaning their teeth, and their diet choices tend to be less healthy as well. That is why is it very important to get them in for regular cleanings and exams every 6 months.
Tips for Healthy Teeth During Teen Years:
*Limit sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks. These are generally unhealthy and are very high in sugar and acids, a combo which quickly leads to cavities.
*Encourage brushing after breakfast and before bedtime.
Cavities can begin at any age and kids can be particularly susceptible. Many people are not concerned because they think "they are just baby teeth," but what they do not realize it that many baby teeth need to stay healthy and present in the mouth until approximately age 11! Cavities in baby teeth will cause infection and pain, just as they do in adult teeth. That is why Dr. MacNeill supports the general recommendation that children should have a dental exam no later than their first birthday. During that visit, Dr. MacNeill will give you advice on how to keep your child's teeth free of cavities and healthy. Regular check-ups every 6 months are encouraged after that, just like adults, so she can monitor the teeth closely. It is also a great way for your child to get used to the sights and sounds of the dental office. You will be amazed at how fast they will improve on allowing someone to evaluate and clean their teeth. The whole goal is to prevent problems with their teeth and to have positive dental experiences so that kids grow up to be adults with healthy teeth and who are comfortable going to the dentist.
Tips and Care
Tips On How To Avoid Cavities on Baby Teeth:
*For babies: Always wipe teeth with a damp cloth after feeding, especially before sleep. Do not let them get used to falling asleep while feeding or with the bottle! Milk sitting on teeth can cause cavities, even if the teeth are barely through the gums.
*Try to wean your baby off breastfeeding or the bottle by the age of one. This can seem hard to parents, but it greatly reduces the chance of decay. Also teeth come in less crooked if the child is not sucking on a bottle or a pacifier.
*Begin brushing your baby's teeth with a soft bristled brush and water as soon as the tooth comes out of the gums. This lowers the chance of cavities and gets them used to you cleaning their teeth. As they get older, let them try to brush their own teeth, but always follow up with doing it yourself to clean the spots they missed.
*Limit surgary foods and drinks. Even if it has no added sugars, juice has natural sugars so drinking it throughout the day bathes the tooth in sugars. Milk has needed nutrition for kids, but also has natural sugars in it so avoid having them drink it all day long as well. At meals is best, especially if you can brush afterwards. Water is great between meals. Try to avoid sticky foods, like chewy fruit snacks, as they remain stuck in the grooves of the teeth for along time after your child eats them, which leads to decay.
Practicing the good oral hygiene techniques that Dr. MacNeill and her staff will show you will help reduce the amount of bacteria and plaque on your teeth. Regular dental visits are essential so your hygienist can get into the little crevices you can't easily clean and Dr. MacNeill can assess the health of your gums, bone and teeth. We encourage our patients to treat cavities as soon as possible because they will only get bigger and lead to infection and pain. Together we can keep your mouth healthy, which can help keep your entire body healthy!