Things You Should Know About Dental Cavities

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that more than 90 percent of the population has had a dental cavity?

The American Dental Association (ADA) defines a dental cavity as, “The destruction of your tooth enamel (the hard outer layer of your teeth) that causes a hole in the tooth.

They further state that when plaque forms on your teeth, combined with eating and drinking foods that contain sugar, the collective bacteria produced attack the tooth enamel.

Some ways you can prevent tooth decay are:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use floss or interdental cleaner to clean between your teeth daily.
  • Eat healthy, well balanced meals.
  • Limit snacking.

Since cavities mostly happen in adolescents, your dentist may suggest the use of supplemental fluoride or dental sealants (a plastic proactive coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

Nothing combats tooth decay more than regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings and oral examinations.  If you are at low risk of cavities or gum disease, it is recommended that you see your dentist once yearly.  If you are at higher risk, you may need to visit your dentist every three or four months.

If your teeth are in need of a check -up, you can make an appointment with one of our board certified dentists at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center by calling 718-206-6980.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Cavity Prevention for Children

 Dental cavities can be prevented for most children. To keep those pearly whites pearly it takes being mindful about eating, drinking and brushing habits along with being knowledgeable about your child’s water supply. Remember, every time we eat or drink something that contains sugar or starches, bacteria in our mouth uses the sugar and starch to produce acids. These acids begin to eat away at the tooth’s enamel. Our saliva can help fight off this acid attack unless there are a lot of foods high in starch and sugar in your diet. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on how often your children eat as well as what they eat.

A key source in strengthening teeth against cavities is fluoride. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is important for preventing cavities. Most bottled water does not contain enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay. If your child drinks only bottled water, speak with a dentist about whether your child needs additional fluoride in the form of a vitamin, varnish, or gel.

Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves. For children aged two to six, it is recommended that an adult puts the toothpaste on the brush. Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.Try brushing your child’s teeth first, then let him/her finish.  Until they are seven or eight years old, you will need to help your child brush.

Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallow it. Children under six years old tend to swallow much of the toothpaste on their brush. If children regularly consume higher-than-recommended amounts of fluoride during the teeth-forming years (age eight and younger), their permanent teeth may develop white lines or flecks called dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is usually mild; in many cases, only a dental professional would notice it. (In children under age two, dental experts recommend that you do not use fluoride toothpaste unless directed by a dentist.)

It is recommended that children see their dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cavity prevention. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.