Tooth Decay: High-Risk Patients Need Extra Protection
A number of factors can raise a person’s risk of developing tooth decay. Children are at a higher risk because it often takes them a while to develop thorough brushing and flossing habits. Using bottles after the age of one or allowing them to constantly drink from a sippy cup can also increase a child’s risk of cavities. In adults, certain medical conditions or medications can make the teeth vulnerable to decay. These include dry mouth, a condition characterized by a reduction in saliva, and gastroesphageal reflux disease, in which stomach acids rise into the mouth and destroy tooth enamel. A wide range of medications, including chemotherapy drugs for cancer, can also inhibit the flow of saliva, which is necessary for washing away cavity-producing bacteria and remineralizing the teeth.
Professional Fluoride Treatments
When the teeth are exposed to acidic substances, such as sugar, soft drinks, fruit juice, and wine, minerals are leeched from the tooth enamel. If the minerals are not replaced, the teeth are left vulnerable to the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Using fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water can help remineralize the teeth and keep the enamel strong, but those at a higher risk of dental caries can benefit from professional fluoride treatments at each routine dental cleaning. Applied as a varnish or with a special tray that fits over the teeth, fluoride treatments are recommended for all children under the age of 18 and adults who are prone to tooth decay.
Dental Sealants for Children
The molars contain grooves and fissures that easily collect food particles and plaque and are difficult to adequately clean. That is why your family dentists recommend dental sealants for all children. Placed on the chewing surfaces of permanent molars and premolars as soon as they erupt, sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on in liquid form and then hardened, providing a barrier between the teeth and acidic substances that can harm the enamel. Most insurance plans cover sealants, and they can last for up to 10 years, protecting your children during their most cavity-prone years.
Quality Dentistry in Montello and Berlin, Wisconsin
To experience the warm, nurturing environment that has earned Dr. Alex White and Dr. Vy Le numerous loyal patients, contact Fox River Family Dentistry today. With locations in Montello and Berlin, we welcome patients from Ripon, Omro, Neshkoro, Princeton, Westfield, Oxford, and all of Green Lake County and Marquette County.