With all the toothpaste, dental floss, and electric toothbrushes available, our teeth must be in great shape, right? Not exactly. According to the Associated Press, the percentage of Canadian with untreated cavities began rising this decade, reversing a half-century trend of improvement in dental health. The fact is, over one-quarter of all children and adults have cavities that are left untreated. This leads to more complicated and obviously costly treatment and some times to a tooth loss.
Why do little people have so many cavities these days? Experts say it’s because they’re not drinking tap water, which contains tooth-strengthening fluoride, and are drinking non-fluoridated bottled water instead. They’re also drinking more sugary beverages, like juice, soda, and sports drinks.
According to the journal Archives of Pediatrics, 42% of kids under age 11 have cavities in their baby teeth. Plus, nearly half of all parents give their kids mostly bottled water. And although they think they’re doing the right thing for their kids’ health, it’s backfiring. Even the CDC warns that giving kids bottled water won’t help prevent tooth decay. And when you have tooth decay in baby teeth, you will have decay in permanent teeth.
Fluoride is a three-prong treatment. The moment a child’s teeth begin to appear, they’re at risk from decay, so, parents should be brushing their children’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Without the fluoride, their teeth are not as well protected.
Patients should floss their and their child’s teeth when the teeth begin touching each other, at about 2-and-a-half years old. Flossing every night before bed is preferable, but if the kids resist, parents should stick to a minimum of twice a week.
At last, everybody needs to see a dentist twice a year for their re-care examination by doctor as well as plaque removal and fluoride treatment.
Take your time and book your dental appointment, keep your healthy smile for life.
Dr Luda Ushakova and Your Oral Health Care Team