Tooth decay is often referred to as the second most common human disease, following the common cold. Unlike many conditions, tooth decay can affect people of any age and status. Without proper management, tooth decay can lead to chronic pain, loss of mouth function, and decreased aesthetics of the smile. While tooth decay is a common affliction for many Americans, it can be prevented, treated, and managed.
At our office, Dr. McClatchie is proficient at dealing with tooth decay management during all stages of the decay process. For young children, Dr. McClatchie recommends Xylitol in addition to a healthy diet and daily dental hygiene practices. Xylitol, available in gum and many health foods, can be consumed by children safely to help protect teeth against regular damage-inducing factors, like sugar and acids. Additionally, Xylitol can be combined with fluoride treatments to help remineralize the teeth and provide long-lasting protection against decay.
If Dr. McClatchie recommends fluoride treatments and Xylitol, there are many options. Our office does offer fluoride services for children and adults in which a fluoride solution is painted on the teeth for long-lasting protection. Dr. McClatchie may also recommend a daily fluoride rinse or toothpaste for regular decay management.
Appropriate Xylitol use varies depending on age. Studies show that the dental benefits of Xylitol gum can even be transferred from mother to child. In one such study, children under the age of two were less likely to develop future cavities as a child if their mothers chewed Xylitol gum a few times each day. Toddlers can benefit from Xylitol by using it as a sugar substitute in purees and foods for superior dental health. Once a child is old enough to chew gum, Dr. McClatchie recommends adequate fruit and vegetable consumption (where Xylitol occurs naturally), along with Xylitol gum as a supplement.