Cavities – Sweat The Small Stuff (Part 5 of 6)
This is Part 5 of a 6 Part series. The info will be best understood if read in order. Click here for Part 1
Cavities are often associated with having braces. That’s because plaque bacteria stick to anything hard in your mouth, like the brackets, wires, and springs that are part of the braces. It’s almost impossible to brush away plaque in your child from these little nooks and crannies the braces create.
Notice in the picture the islands of healthy enamel where the brackets used to be. They protected that part of the teeth from cavities because plaque couldn’t get under there, in spite of obvious poor hygiene. All around the brackets are various stages of cavities forming. Please note that cavities start out as white-ish before they turn brown or orange (or other strange colors — I’ve even seen cavities with a green-ish or blue-ish hues to them).
Nobody knows this stuff until they’re taught. When I was a teenager I remember needing 8 fillings after I got my braces off. My REAL MOM had a cow, even though fillings cost a whole lot less back then than they do now. I had to learn this stuff and hopefully you’re seeing how critically important it is to your family for you to learn this stuff too … BEFORE it’s too late.
If you’re following the diet advice from Part 3 of this series, you minimize the risk of cavities forming during braces, even if your teenager is horrible at hygiene like this one was. Either way, do your best to brush EVERY little spot where plaque accumulates.
Some moms think braces are just to make crooked teeth straighter and prettier. I hope you’re not one of them. Crooked teeth are also related to more cavities and in weirder places because they create more spaces for the plaque to hide out.
It’s one of the topics I discussed in the Special Report, Top 5 Dental Nightmares You Can Prevent Before Your Child Turns 12. If you haven’t yet downloaded the free report, I’d suggest you do it now. Just fill in one of the forms you’ll find around the website.
Let’s get visual for a minute to see what happens down the road if you ignore straightening your kid’s teeth during their childhood.
You might think this person just has bad oral hygiene habits. I can’t say they’re the greatest, but they’re trying. The biggest problems occur where the extra nooks and crannies are created for plaque to hide out. It’s causing both cavities and gum disease.
This is potentially your child in the future if they have crowded teeth and don’t follow the recommendations in this series about cavities. Do you really want to send them into adulthood with this mess when you might have prevented it?
My suggestion is to discuss this with your dentist. Ask her or him “What are the potential future risks for extra cavities if I don’t get their teeth straightened?”
If things are too crowded, you might even want to remove a permanent tooth or two. If you do it at the right stage of growth and development, you’ll be amazed what will happen naturally to straighten the remaining teeth without braces. This is something you’ll have to discuss with your dentist to see if that’s the best possibility.
There are other ways to straighten teeth besides braces. Products such as Invisalign and their competitors are great because they’re removable. It means your child can remove the devices and clean the teeth really well without the hindrance of braces. They also have to clean the devices perfectly too or the plaque that grows on them can cause cavities if left undisturbed.
Talk to your dentist about what’s best for your child. Start the discussions very early when the teeth are developing. Straightening teeth not only makes a smile beautiful, but it can also make it healthier throughout life by being easier to clean.