Cavities don’t just appear in a child’s mouth out of thin air. Plaque, germs and bacteria have to work hard just like the people they live in in order to achieve their goals. They require an uninterrupted workspace in order for them to do business effectively. Your child’s job is to disrupt that workspace. Because you have no interest in doing business with anything that wants to inflict physical harm onto your child’s body. But at the end of the day, the less work your child does to keep plaque, germs and bacteria at bay, the more work they do to set up camp inside your child’s teeth and gums. If there’s but one tiny piece of advice you take away from Bergen County NJ pediatric dentistry, it’s that your child has to keep up with the brushing.
Missing a night of teeth brushing every so often will not summon judgment day. Nine times out of ten a first offender will go on through life unscathed despite his or her negligent behavior. It’s those second and third missed brushings that get them. Little by little, when nobody is watching, plaque is eating away at your child’s gums each and every time that he or she ‘forgets’ to brush. Sooner or later, those missed brushings will translate to achy teeth and eventually a cavity. Here’s a more detailed description of exactly how it happens. Hopefully this will incentivize you to make sure your kid takes care of his or dental hygienic business.
Cavities occur as the result of excessive demineralization of the teeth. Demineralization leads to the spreading of acid in unkept parts of the teeth and gums. The acid comes from bacteria that are inside plaque. These bacteria eat sugar. Which is why they thrive in the mouths of sweet toothed children like your son or daughter. The good news is that the majority of the time, your mouth is a neutral pH balance of around 7. But whenever it drops to beneath 5.5, you know you’re in trouble.
Enamel is what makes up the exterior, white surface of your teeth. Within the enamel is the dentin, which is the hard stuff inside. It has a slightly yellow hue to it. This is what makes up the teeth’s roots. The dentin typically has less mineralization than the enamel, which is why it’s so important to keep your enamel intact. The biggest indicator that a cavity is developing is to look at the thickness of a person’s enamel. If the enamel seems to be running thin, that usually means the person has not been doing a very good job of brushing.
Until the cavity actually appears, there’s always hope of turning things around. The process is called remineralization. And all it entails is simply doing a better job of brushing, and also getting your biannual thorough cleaning from a dentist. The body is an incredible thing.