Prevention

Tooth Decay Prevention

Prevention is a very important part of our practice at the Center for Pediatric Dental Health. Tooth decay prevention starts with you at home. Dental caries (tooth decay) is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth with sugars in our everyday diet. Sugars cause a reaction in the bacteria, causing acid production, that in turn break down the minerals in teeth. This process can result in a cavity. Tooth decay is a preventable disease. With a balanced diet and regular dental hygiene regimen (brushing and flossing at least twice daily, regular dental check-ups and fluoride treatments), we can help your child remain caries-free!

Fluoride

Use of fluorides for the prevention and control of caries (dental decay) is documented to be both safe and highly effective. Fluoride has several caries-protective mechanisms of action, including enamel remineralization and altering bacterial metabolism to help prevent caries. Sources of dietary fluoride may include drinking water, certain beverages, infant formula, prepared foods and toothpaste. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from sources such as fruits, vegetables, corn stalks/husks/cobs, birch wood, nutshells, etc. Clinical studies have repeatedly show reductions in tooth decay by up to 80% in people how consistently use products sweetened with 100% xylitol. In the presence of xylitol, bacteria can't stick to teeth which prevent the production of harmful by-products that can cause plaque and tooth decay. The world health organization and the FDA have given xylitol their safest ratings as a food additive. Xylitol has the same sweetness as sugar (sucrose) but with 40% fewer calories and none of the negative tooth decay. In the amounts needed to reduce the risk of tooth decay (about 10 to 15 grams per day), it is safe for everyone and can be conveniently delivered to your teeth via chewing gum, tablets, some toothpastes/oral care products and even some candies.