Diet plays a huge role in preventing decay. The bacteria in our mouths use the carbohydrates and produce an acid that breaks the teeth down. The longer the acid stays on our teeth the more chance we have for cavities. Choosing foods that are low in carbohydrates that do not stay stuck on our teeth helps to prevent decay from forming. Snacks like pretzels, chips, crackers, and gummy fruit snacks stay on the teeth for a longer period of time so are more likely to contribute to cavities. Healthy snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurts, natural nuts, and cheeses are choices that may help minimize cavities. Time matters more than amount, so we encourage you to minimize time that carbohydrates are on the teeth.
Nutrition counseling and diet recommendations
It is easy to just say “don’t eat sugars” but we know that there are many other factors that go into getting dental decay. We work with each patient individually to determine what factors go into causing dental decay. Some children have decreased saliva from medications, while others just love to snack on carbohydrate snacks (Cheetos, gummies, goldfish, etc, etc) we try to set realistic goals and expectations that our patients and families can achieve.
Coverings that protect the deep grooves on the molars from dental decay. These non invasive restorations are a great adjunct to good diet and hygiene to prevent dental decay.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)
SDF has been used in Japan for many years and has only been FDA approved in the United States since 2014. Our practice has used this great material to help stop or slow the progression of dental decay. This allows our office to help build trust with our patients as well as help our families to get in front of the progressive and destructive dental disease. Although this material can stain the teeth black we have esthetic restorations that can be placed over these dark areas to help improve the esthetic appearance.
SDF is not a magic fix, and our ultimate goal is to prevent dental decay before SDF would ever need to be used. However, this material is a great adjunct to our traditional dental restorations
SDF also helps to stop large dental decay in baby teeth and prevent the need for baby root canal therapy.
While root canal therapy is sometimes the best treatment option a literature review shows that Indirect Pulp Cap therapy (the killing of bacteria by sealing off the bacteria from new food sources) has greater long term success than “baby root canals” and is less costly and less difficult for the patient. Because of this Parkview Pediatric dentistry utilizes these techniques to provide the best long term treatment for your children.
We know that one of the best things to help decrease dental decay was the use of fluoride in our toothpastes and drinking water. While these daily applications are helpful, they wash off your teeth rather quickly. Because of this we utilize a “varnish” which is a sticky resin that holds the fluoride ions on the teeth for a full 24hours. This allows for greater surface uptake of the fluoride and helps to strengthen and remineralize enamel.
Basic Bites are a great addition to our preventive strategies. These chocolate chews are a great adjunct for children who are cavity prone and are trying all the good habits and still getting dental decay. These chocolate chews are to be used at least at night and are eaten right before bed. The chocolates are sugar free, and contain sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) which is very basic and helps to raise the pH of the mouth and fight off the bad cavity causing bacteria. You can get these on Amazon or we offer them in the office, if you have more questions about the basic bites please talk with one of our doctors to see if they would be right for your children.