Children's Dentistry

Decayed Baby Teeth — Bottle Caries

Signs and appearance of baby teeth displaying bottle caries:

  • Brown baby teeth with fragmented edges
  • Upper front baby teeth that break easily

Children who have erupted teeth or are past the age to be weaned are highly susceptible to rotted front teeth when being put to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice, or other sugar-containing liquids. There is decreased salivary flow during sleep and clearance of the liquid from the teeth is slowed. Call us at (814) 838-6354 for more details.

The liquid pools around the upper front baby teeth and creates an excellent environment to promote the growth of decay-causing bacteria. Removing the bottle before the first tooth appears and wiping the child's gums and teeth with a soft cloth before being put to bed can help prevent decay.

At 18 months of age, parents should bring their child into Kneib Dentistry for an examination by Dr. Kneib and recommended home care. We offer the latest technology in diagnosing bottle caries: the Diagnodent Caries Detection Aid. With this tool, even very small lesions are detected at the earliest stage.

Tooth Decay in Children — Cavities

Fluoride has been a great benefit to patients of all ages in helping prevent dental decay for children. Regular brushing and flossing lowers the chance of developing "cavities."

At Kneib Dentistry, we know that the most decay-prone areas of teeth are the grooves and depressions on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, which require further preventive care.

To prevent decay, a plastic-like coating called a sealant should be painted on the chewing surfaces of all the back teeth. Studies have shown that sealants can reduce tooth decay by as much as 90% to 100% in the Erie area and nationwide.

The American Dental Association recommends, and Dr. Kneib agrees, that sealants be placed as soon as the first adult back teeth come in at age 6 or 7. Sealants should continue to be used as each adult back tooth comes into the mouth. All back teeth that need to be sealed are present by age 13. Sealant application is simple and fast.


Dr. Kneib, why should I wear a mouthguard?

While mouthguards are not mandatory equipment in all sports, their worth is indisputable. Mouthguards cushion blows to the face and neck. A mouthguard should be part of every athlete's gear, no matter the sport. Even adults or weekend athletes need to protect their smile and preserve their health.

Do: At Kneib Dentistry, we feel that you should wear a mouthguard at all times when playing sports. Wear a mouthguard custom-fitted by a dentist, especially if you wear bridges or braces.

Don't: Wear removable products, like retainers, when playing sports.

There are two types of mouthguards:

  • Custom-made: Designed by a dentist and made on a cast of your teeth, they cause very little interference with speaking or breathing. They provide the best protection and fit over braces and fixed bridges. They also cost more.
  • Ready-made: Purchased at most sporting goods stores. They are the least expensive, the least effective, and the least comfortable.

Prevent Tooth Decay

Fluoride, in proper dosage, has been shown to significantly reduce dental decay. When fluoridated water has less than the ideal amount or is not available, fluoride supplements are recommended. (A call to your local water district is all that is necessary to determine whether your water has fluoride or not.)

When supplements are needed, the administration of fluoride supplements should begin shortly after birth and continue through the time of eruption of the second permanent molars (approx. 12 years of age).

Regular dental check-ups at Kneib Dentistry should begin no later than 18 months of age.

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