Header widget area left

Advanced dental Testing for Healthy Kiddy Smiles

In this blog entry Dr Darryl Marsh writes…

There is now available a series of tests which can identify your child’s risk of getting tooth cavities at an early age. This is done by checking:

  • The levels of bacteria in the plaque
  • The levels of bacteria in the saliva
  • How well you child’s saliva helps protect their teeth (i.e. the flow rate, buffering capacity and acid level of the saliva).

Dentists have known for some time that dental decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth, but decay is also greatly affected by carbohydrates (sugars) in the diet and the protective effect of saliva.

Tests can now identify your child’s risk of getting tooth cavities at an early age.

Recent research has produced simple and quick tests to determine:

  1. The presence of decay causing bacteria in the fine grooves and other areas on the teeth ‘hidden’ from dental x-rays
  2. The levels of decay causing bacteria in the saliva
  3. How effective a patient’s saliva is at protecting their teeth
  4. Assessment of ‘hidden’ sugars in the diet, especially from common medications such as cough medicine, pain and fever medications, asthma treatments and antibiotics.

These tests, combined with a thorough examination of the teeth as well as x-rays, then allow the dentist to determine an effective and simple plan to prevent decay for each individual patient. The testing procedure involves taking samples of the saliva flow analysis as well as a thorough history of medications taken and eating patterns.

Dr Darryl Marsh writes his dental blog“Dentists have known for some time that dental decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth, but decay is also greatly affected by carbohydrates (sugars) in the diet and the protective effect of saliva.”

This would commonly take fifteen to twenty minutes. Some test results are available immediately, and results take up to forty-eight hours. For patients whose decay risk is high, further testing is required. The cost for this testing procedure would commonly be $20 to $65 depending on the testing required.

Preventing cavities is the key

If the child has a moderate to high risk of decay, or if weakened enamel areas of ‘early decay’ spots are detected, steps can be taken to prevent cavities forming.

The preventative measures involved are a combination of treatments performed by the dentist, including:

  1. Removing the bacterial plaque on the teeth, placing anti-plaque varnishes;
  2. Concentrated fluoride treatment to heal any early damage to the enamel;
  3. Cleaning of the fine grooves (fissures) on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and sealing these fissures with an epoxy adhesive filling material. This prevents decay occurring in these impossible to clean areas;
  4. Advising you on any ‘hidden’ sugars in the diet and how you can prevent any damage to the teeth from there;
  5. Advising what products you can use at home to strengthen the teeth between dental visits (please note some of theses are only available from your dentist).

Keep smiling!

Darryl Marsh

Patient Centre

Packed with useful information, links and resources for you – our patient.
 

More dental resources here

  • Kids crooked teeth: Image source Wikimedia commons (Evgeniy Isaev) Kids crooked teeth: information for parents - At Today’s Dentistry, we get many parents who are worried that their kids adult teeth are coming through crooked, overcrowded, sticking out or gappy. Here, we look at some of the reasons for kids crooked teeth, then in our second article, we’ll talk about why – if your child has crooked teeth – they may
  • TMJ and teeth grinding - Lots of us are coping with our job, home life, kids – so it’s no surprise we’re feeling stressed out, with sore jaws, stiff necks, headaches... and grinding our teeth in our sleep. Teeth grinding or bruxism is just one of the signs of TMJ tension – that is, problems with your jaw joints or temporomandibular joints
  • Are Toothpicks Bad Question - Is it safe to use a toothpick to remove food stuck between my teeth after a meal? “I do floss after every meal and brush my teeth twice a day. My flat mate keeps telling me it not safe to use toothpicks but he is not a dentist!” – Question from Natalie of Mt Gravatt,

Subscribe to our Newsletter

and get regular updates