The doctors at All Kids Dental are committed to providing the most advanced and effective strategies in caries prevention to help reach our goal of your child becoming a cavity-free adult.
More than 80% of cavities happen in the deep pits and grooves found on back teeth. These pits can be so deep and so small that even our toothbrush bristles can’t reach them, which makes it nearly impossible to prevent cavities there by good brushing alone. By placing sealants on these surfaces, we are nearly 99% effective in preventing the most common type of dental cavity: groove-type cavities.
Sealants are applied by a simple procedure in which the tooth is cleaned and dried, then a BPA-free resin material is bonded to the surface. There is no need for anesthetic injections, and since the material is light-activated, children can eat and drink right away when done. We do sealants routinely on all permanent back teeth and selectively on certain cavity-prone baby teeth.
All Kids Dental utilizes the newest fluoride protocol established by the American Dental Association. Research has shown that fluoride varnish is almost 50% more effective at reducing cavities, compared to the traditional fluoride gel approach. In addition, fluoride varnish results in a significantly lower systemic fluoride uptake than previously available. Since our goal is to fluoride the teeth, not the body, this has proven to be an exciting advance.
Did you know that children who have fluoride varnish applied every six months have fewer cavities than those who do not? In combination with water fluoridation and fluoride toothpaste, fluoride varnish will reduce the incidence of childhood caries by up to 65 to 70%. This, in combination with dental sealants, proper diet, and home care (brushing and flossing), makes becoming a cavity-free adult a very realistic goal for all our patients at All Kids Dental.
The Role of Xylitol Gum and Mints in Reducing Cavities
Xylitol is common sugar substitute that is widely distributed throughout nature and available in fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, hardwoods, and corn cobs. As an example, one cup of raspberries contains almost one gram of xylitol.
Over the past ten years, research has indicated xylitol’s effectiveness in dramatically reducing the incidence of caries, particularly in caries-prone children. Xylitol effectively alters the virulence of Mutans Streptococci (the bacteria in dental plaque responsible for forming cavities) and has a long-lasting effect. Ask the front desk about xylitol gum and mints that we have available for your child to try.
Probiotics Effective in Preventing Cavities
It’s unfortunate, but the research is very clear: Children who have had cavities are very likely to have more of them in the future. As a group, these children continue to be cavity-prone, even with good diet, hygiene, and traditional caries-prevention practices.
The research has also shown that caries-prone children tend to harbor a stronger, more virulent cavity-forming strain of plaque bacteria. Many times, the only way to reduce the risk of ongoing caries is to change the strain of plaque these children carry.
Most people are aware of how Activia, a probiotic yogurt, helps change the flora of the GI tract and help regulate digestion. Similar probiotic technology is now available in dentistry and is proving effective in altering the influence of the “pro-cavity” organisms in dental plaque. Products such as Biogaia® are now available and proven effective in changing a child’s oral flora from a “pro-cavity plaque” to an “anti-cavity plaque.”
The procedure is simple and begins with an anti-microbial varnish (chlorhexidine). This “sterilizes” the current oral flora (plaque) and allows for recolonization by non-cariogenic organisms. Probiotic drops and gums are then utilized for two weeks, to promote an “anti-cavity” strain of plaque to colonize in the mouth, and crowd out any “pro-cavity” plaque that tries to adhere to teeth.
This new generation of caries prevention enables the doctors at All Kids Dental to regulate a part of the cavity process that was traditionally thought to be beyond our control. We take pride in using the most current and innovative prevention strategies to help your child reach the goal of becoming a cavity-free adult.