We Treat a Lot of Kids…
At Maxwell Dental we treat a LOT of kids.
Parents naturally want what’s best for their children, and so they often have a lot of questions & concerns about the best way to care for their children’s teeth.
They want to know:
- If their kids have cavities
- If their kids have good dental health
- If their kids will need braces
- If the treatments we use are healthy & safe for their children
- How they can better prevent cavities
We do our very best to answer all of these questions, but here are a few things every parent should know dealing with kids with cavities.
Kids Teeth Are Different
Baby teeth are very different from adult teeth. Unlike adult teeth, baby teeth have a very thin, and relatively soft outer tooth enamel that protects the tooth from decay. Adult enamel is very dense and rich in minerals, making it very hard, and more naturally resilient to cavities & decay.
Children’s teeth don’t have that same level of protection, which makes them much more susceptible and at higher risk of tooth decay. So that’s the first thing you should know before beating yourself up over your kids having cavities. Unfortunately, it is extremely common.
Children Often Have Different Eating Habits Than Adults
The other thing to remember is that kids often snack more frequently throughout the day than adults. This can also make it easier for food to get lodged in spaces between the teeth causing tooth decay. It also goes without saying that sweet treats have an especially negative impact on the health of baby teeth, especially when left too long between brushing & flossing.
3 Ways We Treat Cavities Using a Holistic Approach
The first thing to understand is that cavities in baby teeth DON’T ALWAYS NEED FILLINGS. Depending on the age of the child, and the progression of the decay, there are a few alternative options that we can use to treat the affected area, if at all.
1 – Ozone Therapy
Ozone Therapy is one of our natural secrets weapons against bacteria and decay. Many people will have heard of Ozone before, but maybe not in the context of natural dentistry.
Ozone is found all over in the atmosphere, and helps protect us from harmful radiation from the sun. It is a molecule made up of three parts Oxygen and is very reactive. This amazing element has no harming effect on humans but kills harmful bacteria in our mouths that cause decay.
If a child has a small amount of decay, we can use Ozone to kill the bacteria that is causing that decay. It will give the tooth a fighting chance to heal itself before going straight to a filling.
[And by the way… kids DO NOT like getting fillings.]
It is a much more natural approach to healing tooth decay without using needles, or freezing, or drills or anything.
But it is not effective ALL the time…
If decay has progressed beyond a certain point, Ozone Therapy is not as effective as we would like it to be. That’s when it’s time to consider our next alternative to treating kids cavities.
2- Silver Diamine Fluoride
The first thing some of you may be thinking as you read this is “Fluoride??? I thought Maxwell Dental was opposed to using Fluoride?”
This particular application is quite a bit different than your typical fluoride usage.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a very spot specific treatment for decay. The Silver in the compound targets and kills the bacteria causing decay (just like Ozone). The small amount of Fluoride helps to the strengthen and rebuild the tooth in the spot where it needs it most.
Many people are used to going to the dentist and having goopy trays of Fluoride placed in their mouth, or having a Fluoride rinse, or Fluoride in their toothpaste. There is a lot of concern about the affects of that Fluoride on the rest of the body if it gets ingested. We understand. That is a concern that we share at Maxwell Dental. Silver Diamine Fluoride is an excellent choice as it is applied in just the affected area, and contains just enough Fluoride to help heal the tooth.
It is an excellent option to help halt & revers tooth decay, without the need for freezing or drills. This is the second non-invasive ways that we can treat children’s tooth decay & cavities.
3 – Metal-Free Fillings
If the cavity has progressed to the point where it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to reverse that decay to heal those teeth, then it is time to consider treating the cavity with a filling.
At Maxwell Dental, we have been Mercury free for over 30 years. We also do not use mercury or metal amalgam fillings of any kind, nor do we use metal caps of any kind on teeth. It is our practice to avoid using metal in the mouth to reduce the toxic loads on the body. We use non toxic white filling material, the same as an adult would get at Maxwell Dental.
We feel very strongly about taking great care as to what materials are used in the mouth, especially for children. All of our cavity treatments follow the Alberta Fee Guide.
Maxwell Dental Is Different
As you can tell Maxwell Dental takes a slightly different approach, to give you options on how you would like to best care for your children’s teeth. We are firm believers and practitioners of seeking out the most non-invasive, and healthiest options first in treating cavities & decay, as well as ways to best prevent tooth decay in the first place.
If you would like to schedule a visit to discuss treatments options for you and your loved ones, please don’t hesitate to call. It would be our honour to help you and your family maintain your healthy smile.