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Patient Education

About Tooth Decay:
Tooth decay can occur as soon as the teeth appear. Decay in primary teeth can damage erupting permanent teeth. Only a few ingredients are needed to create the right conditions for tooth decay. # 1 is plaque. When sugar and starch from food or drink combine with plaque, an acid is produced that attacks tooth enamel. Repeated acid attacks can break down the enamel and eventually result in a cavity. Sugars and starch are present in many foods, even fruits and veggies. Limiting snacks will reduce the number of acid attacks on tooth enamel. However when children need a between-a-meal snack, select foods from the five food groups for a balanced diet.

Parents can help prevent their children’s tooth decay by monitoring their eating habits. Offer children healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are naturally sweet. Foods to avoid are chewy and hard candies, chocolate and other foods that contain refined sugars.

For more fantastic tips, please visit theĀ AAPD website on parent resources.

What is baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay is cause by the frequent exposure of a child’s teeth to liquids containing sugars. Preventing baby bottle decay involves changes in a child’s diet and or brushing child’s teeth after each use of the bottle.

Baby Pacifiers:
Pros and Cons Pacifiers provide a source of comfort to infants. Prolonged use of the pacifier can affect the proper development of the mouth, tooth alignment and can create a speech problem. Here is a helpful link on how to wean your child from a pacifier.

Thumb Sucking:
Sucking is a natural reflex, infants and young children may use thumb, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. It may make them feel secure and happy or even provide a sense of security at difficult periods. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth and tooth alignment. Usually children stop sucking between the ages of two and four. Pacifiers are no substitute for thumb sucking.

All about X-Rays (tooth pictures) Dental x-rays (also known as radio graphs) are a valuable part of dental treatment because they can detect damage to teeth and gums that are not visible during a routine visual examination.

What are Sealants?
Dental sealants can prevent your child’s teeth from getting cavities. Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars to act as a barrier. The sealant material is bonded to the pits and grooves of the tooth surfaces.

What is EXTRINSIC stain?
These stains are external stains that build up on the outer surface of a tooth. They are not a part of the structure of the tooth.

What is INTRINSIC stain?
These stains are internal staining of the tooth, from sources within the tooth.

Can poor oral hygiene result in teeth being stained? It Can! Teeth that are not brushed properly and regularly can turn a yellow/greenish coloring, particularly around the gums.

Can medication stain the tooth surface? Yes, Iron supplements in medication can stain the teeth black.

What is dental plaque? Dental plaque is a thin coating of bacteria and food particles that sticks to teeth. It cannot be rinsed off, but it can be removed by brushing, flossing and dental cleanings. It causes tooth decay and gum disease.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment at our Pleasanton pediatric dentistry office, please contact our office today.