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How To See Early Signs of Pediatric Tooth Decay

During our developmental years, we must maintain good dental health. The state of our oral cavity at this time can have far-reaching implications for our adult smile. Our primary teeth serve critical roles in our future teeth’ straight and healthy development. Preventing tooth decay is probably the most important thing we can do to ensure they remain healthy. Tooth decay starts when streptococcus mutans begin affixing to our teeth with plaque and tartar. This layer of biofilm serves as a place for these bacteria to live and attack the enamel of our teeth. Knowing how to watch for the early stages of decay is an important part of knowing when it’s time to take action to stop it.

The First Warning Signs Of Pediatric Tooth Decay

Too much sugar is a problem for oral health regardless of age. In our younger years, however, the enamel on our teeth is more susceptible to decay. Avoiding these elements isn’t possible all the time, but we can limit the more abundant sources. Sugar, high-carb foods such as bread, chips, and acidic foods can all impact the health of our teeth. These substances all serve as an abundant food source for streptococcus mutans. After consuming this food, it produces acids that can weaken our enamel. Other problems that can lead to tooth decay include:

  • Diets high in carbohydrates and sugar
  • Poor access to fluoridated water
  • Insufficient oral hygiene practices
  • Dry mouth caused by health or medical conditions

When tooth decay begins, it will make its presence known by white spots forming on the teeth’ surface. These spots are the result of minerals being leached out of the teeth by the action of acids in the mouth. These areas are less dense than the surrounding enamel, making it easier for them to be worn away. You may not immediately notice these spots, but your children will likely give you hints. They’ll mention that their teeth are more sensitive to hot or cold foods or those high in acid or sugar. Left untreated, these white spots will begin to slowly darken as decay increases.

Knowing these symptoms will not always occur with lesions or even full-on cavities is important. Some children may go through the whole process without reporting any discomfort at all. Thankfully there are treatments that your dentist can use to help strengthen the weakened enamel and prevent the advance of decay. Be aware that it’s impossible to restore enamel that has broken down and eroded, so acting fast is essential.

Speak To Your Dentist About Identifying And Addressing Decay

There is no one as knowledgeable about the advance of tooth decay as your dentist. They spend every moment of their working lives looking at teeth in various states of health. They can catch the start of decay quite early, making them essential to preserving lasting dental health. Speak to your dentist about precautions you can take to prevent decay and how to identify it early in its development.

All over the world, countless people suffer from one degree of dental anxiety or another. Dental anxiety, also known as dental phobia, does not respect age, gender, or class. The degree to which this anxiety impacts their lives varies from patient to patient. In some cases, it’s a mild feeling of unease as it comes time to see the dentist. Others can become panicked at the mere mention of dental matters, let alone a visit to the office itself. The traditional rotary drill and its high-pitched whine are one of the most commonly cited triggers of dental anxiety by sufferers.

How Dental Lasers Are Changing The Dental Experience

Let’s be honest; no one considers the piercing whine of a rotary drill a siren song that calls them to the dental office. It’s probably cited as the least favorite part of visiting a clinic. This is true for both dental anxiety sufferers and other patients. The introduction of the dental laser has gone a long way towards reducing the racket during oral health care visits. Unlike the high-pitched sound of the rotary drill, the dental laser produces a soft pulsing that many patients have reported being soothing.  

Even those with dental anxiety report a calmer experience, thanks to dental lasers. This is just one of the ways that dental lasers benefit your dental experience. They also facilitate the following elements:

  • Precision Dentistry – Rotary drills can certainly complete a broad range of dental jobs. However, they aren’t really a precision tool. With the introduction of the dental laser, your dentist can perform dentistry with a new level of precision and control. Eliminating areas of decay and necrotic tissue requires the removal of less healthy tissue.
  • Fast Recovery Times – The imprecise nature of rotary drills made damaging adjacent healthy tissue difficult to avoid. This destruction, in turn, made recovery times from procedures longer than necessary. Dental laser drills reduce recovery times by being more precise and cauterizing the site, speeding recovery.
  • Reduced Discomfort – The dental experience becomes more pleasant with the removal of the whining drill. Further, there’s no vibration with a dental laser. The procedure is completed nearly painlessly and without aggravating nearby areas. Most patients are able to undergo treatment without the need for an anesthetic.
  • Shortened Procedure Times – Another critical benefit of dental lasers is the reduction in time needed to perform a procedure. There’s rarely a need for stitches when a dental laser is used, and reduced need for anesthetic and the associated recovery times. Even the procedure itself is completed quicker and cleaner. This all amounts to less time between the appointment and the rest of the patient’s day.

Talk To Your Dentist About Laser Dentistry

Ask your dentist if laser dentistry is available at their clinic and how they make use of it. You may discover that it’s finally time for that procedure you’ve been putting off. Reach out to your dentist today and learn how laser dentistry can help you!