I work as a clerical assistant in a pediatric dental office, and I am commonly surprised by the number of children who are scared of the dentist. Many kids think that cleanings will be painful, and they believe they will be scolded for eating sugary foods. Children are also extremely frightful of the noises made by the water spraying tools and the suction devices. As adults, we know that dental cleanings are easy and free of pain. We need to impart this knowledge to our children so they know not to fear the dentist. I have provided blogs that will help you speak with your child about dental care. Good communication, trips to your own dentist, and online videos can assist you. So will good brushing techniques that will make your child proud to see the dentist. Enjoy my articles so you can help your child build oral care confidence.
Your dentist has probably explained to you the basics of how cavities form in your teeth. There are bacteria that live in your mouth that convert the sugars you eat to acids, and when those acids sit on your teeth for too long, they wear away your enamel, leading to cavities. Acidic foods don't even need to be converted – they can wear away the enamel directly. You can reduce your risk of cavities by reducing the exposure your teeth have to sugary or acidic food and brushing away food particles and bacteria. That all seems pretty straightforward, so if you start developing cavities out of the blue, it's easy to assume you must be brushing wrong or eating too much junk. However, that's not always the case. Take a look at a few easily-overlooked causes of cavities.
You've Started Working Out
Starting a new exercise routine is a great, healthy choice. You should be proud of yourself for your motivation and commitment to fitness and health. You should also be aware that your new interest in physical fitness may be tough on your teeth.
One reason for this is that most people tend to breathe through their mouths when performing strenuous exercises. This dries your mouth out, leaving you with less saliva. Saliva normally protects your mouth from cavities by helping to wash away food residue between brushing sessions, so if you don't have enough of it, you are more prone to developing cavities. Protect your teeth by making sure that you get enough hydration, which can help you produce more saliva. Opt for bottled or tap water instead of energy or sports drinks that are high in sugar and can contribute to tooth decay.
You Caught the Flu
Another thing that tends to result in mouth breathing is getting sick. It's hard to breathe through your nose when it's all stuffed up. You've probably experienced waking up in the morning with a very dry mouth and throat when you have a cold – that means that your teeth were not well-protected by saliva during all of those hours when you were sleeping.
You also need to be careful when you're taking medicine for a cold – it may unclog your sinuses so that you can breathe through your nose while you sleep, but the sugars that make liquid cold medicine or chewable or gummy-style tablets palatable to swallow also sit on your teeth and lead to cavities. Take cold medicine before you brush your teeth at night and be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
You've Been Really Stressed Out
You probably know that stress can affect you physically as well as mentally or emotionally. When you're feeling stressed about a big project at work or a family situation, you may also experience headaches, stomachaches, sore throats, back problems – and, as it turns out, cavities.
That's because stress impacts your immune system, making it harder to fight off bacteria, which means that you may have more of them in your mouth working to weaken your enamel. Stress can also lead to tooth clenching and grinding, which can weaken your teeth and make them more vulnerable to decay. It's important for your dental and overall health for you to find ways to manage your stress effectively. If you're going through a protracted period of stress, you may need to make an extra effort to brush more often, stay hydrated, and even work in an extra visit to the dentist for tooth cleaning.
If you're getting cavities more often than you've had them before, it's a mistake to automatically assume that your diet and brushing habits are at fault. Ask your dentist to help you pinpoint the underlying cause of your cavities so that you can find a way to stop the decay and get your healthy smile back.
For more information, contact Carolina Forest Family Dentistry or a similar location.