Scientists and researchers have been making many breakthrough discoveries in recent years when it comes to oral health. Many of those breakthroughs have shown new reasons why the health of children's primary teeth is just as important as the health of permanent teeth. If you let your child slack off on dental care, then you have a new reason to make sure they brush and floss every day and keep their smiles cavity-free, even while they still have their temporary, "baby" teeth.
Local Anesthetic May Affect Development of Adult Teeth
It has always been a generally accepted view that children will get cavities when they are growing up. Some get more than others, but cavities and cavity fillings in baby teeth have never been thought of as having any long-term effect on a child's oral health.
If your child gets frequent cavities, then it may surprise you that while just a small cavity itself may not harm your child's developing adult tooth below it (although very large ones can), the local anesthesia may. A recent study found that local anesthesia in the mouth, which dentists commonly use to numb children's teeth before filling cavities, can affect the development of adult teeth by interfering with how the growth-signaling cells communicate with each other.
What does this mean for your child? The researchers stress that the findings should in no way keep you from getting your child any current dental treatments he or she may need that require local anesthetic. However, as a parent, you should take every step you can to keep your children's teeth healthy if you do not already.
Tips to Help Your Child Avoid Cavities
- If you think your child may not brush their teeth when they say they do, then supervise them to ensure they really are brushing properly for a full two minutes. Place at timer in the bathroom to record time more easily.
- Remember that a teeth-friendly diet is just as important as brushing and flossing. Keep sugary soda out of the house and let your child have sugary treats only occasionally.
- Another great way to minimize cavities in a child prone to them is by having your child's dentist apply a special dental sealant to his or her molars that form a barrier between the teeth and cavity-causing bacteria. This sealant is often covered by dental insurance plans.
It is important to keep your child's primary teeth healthy for many reasons. While you should always have any cavities your child does develop filled promptly, helping your child avoid cavities altogether is really the best tactic for their long-term oral health.
To learn more, contact a pediatric dentist clinic like Kids First Pediatric Dentistry.