Tips For Preventing And Treating Weak Tooth Enamel

Weak tooth enamel can be a problem for some children. Weakened enamel can occur when the enamel doesn't develop fully. When baby teeth are affected, the cause is often either genetics or a result of medications the mother had to take during pregnancy. Weak enamel on adult teeth is more commonly caused by either illness or dietary deficiencies. The following tips can help you prevent weakening of adult enamel in your children or at least protect the enamel that is there if your child already has weakened enamel.

Tip #1: Remember that diet matters

Your child should be eating a well balanced diet that contains plenty of calcium. Avoid processed foods when possible and encourage a diet of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins, along with calcium-rich dairy or dairy substitutes. Avoid sugary foods, which can weaken strong enamel and increase the chances of cavities if your child already has weak or porous enamel.

Tip #2: Ditch the sippy cup

Bottles and sippy cups should only be used for water once a child is old enough to hold the cup themselves. This is because liquid that is sipped from these cups and bottles coats the front teeth. Acids and sugars in fruit juices and even milk can further weaken enamel or leave behind sugars that allow cavities to flourish. Give these drinks to your child in moderation, and then use a regular cup or a cup with a straw so the sticky liquid bypasses the front teeth.

Tip #3: Don't turn teeth into tools

Weak enamel can chip more easily than strong enamel, and repeated chipping can cause even strong enamel to weaken. Discourage your child from using their teeth as tools to open items or to hold things. Make sure you model the behavior and don't use your teeth as tools either.

Tip #4: Decide on a treatment plan

A prompt treatment plan can help prevent weakened enamel from leading to tooth decay, especially if it is affecting adult teeth. Your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to help remineralize the teeth and sealants to protect the enamel. In some cases, bonding may be recommended once the adult teeth come in. This is when a tooth-colored resin is bonded to the tooth surface to replace the missing enamel and protect the remaining structure of the tooth.

Contact a pediatric dentist in your area, such as Dino Kids DDS, for more help with your child's enamel issues.