REGION – Dental caries – cavities – are the most common chronic condition among children in the U.S. Approximately 60% of children experience cavities in their baby teeth. The good news: it is preventable and reversible!
The term “cavity” describes a demineralization, or breakdown, process of the mineral structure that makes up our teeth. This loss of tooth structure is a direct result of acid build-up in our mouth. The bacteria in our mouth metabolize the food source in our mouth – sugars and carbohydrates – and create an acidic byproduct. Once our mouth reaches a certain acid level, termed the critical pH of 5.5 or below, our teeth slowly dissolve.
How can we minimize and reverse the decay process? By cleaning our teeth after meals and snacks, we limit the amount of time this acid breakdown process can occur. Our body’s natural saliva can then provide the minerals to help “heal” our teeth. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste provides more of the building blocks to improve the process.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is one of the latest and most powerful tools to help halt cavities and reverse the progression of decay. It is a liquid that can be painted onto teeth without shots or drilling. The silver ion kills the bacteria, and the fluoride ion helps to rebuild the broken tooth structure.
By adopting these habits and principles – and working as a team with our parents and children – we are able to drastically reduce the number of cavities.
Article written Colin Boswell, Montshire Pediatric Dentistry