San Jose Dentist Says Add Checkup to Back-to-School List

As the new school year draws near, the lists of things to do before your child’s first day may seem endless. Clothes, backpacks, enrollments, and physical exams must be attended to, and the last weeks of summer vacation may seem like the shortest weeks of the entire year. As you lose a little bit of control over your child’s daily diet, it is important that you take steps to ensure his or her good oral health. Dr. Randall LaFrom, your San Jose dentist, explains the importance of your child’s dental checkup and cleaning.

A Clean, Healthy Mouth

Ensuring your children’s good oral health is important any time of the year. You’ve taught them to brush their teeth at least twice a day, and to floss at least once, but chances are there may be food particles and bacteria left over after a cleaning. When bacteria accumulate, they form a biofilm called plaque that coats the inside of your mouth. When plaque is left unattended for more than 48 hours, it calcifies, or hardens, into a rock-like substance called tartar. Insoluble, tartar cannot be removed by conventional brushing and flossing. At a dental cleaning, our hygienist will thoroughly clean every surface of your teeth, as well as remove excess plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line.  

Increased Disease Protection

Tooth decay and gum disease result from the bacterial buildup around your teeth and gums. The bacterium Streptococcus mutans, which inhabits your mouth and contributes to plaque formation, has an insatiable appetite for refined sugars and carbohydrates. As it digests these ingredients, it excretes harmful lactic acid over the surfaces of your teeth. These acids eat away your tooth enamel and sap your tooth of enamel-strengthening minerals, allowing bacteria to infect the interior of your tooth and cause tooth decay. Another oral bacterium, called Porphyromonas gingivalis, has been shown to cause inflammation in human tissue, and is associated with the swollen and bleeding gums that indicate gum disease. When the health of your mouth is compromised, these and other bacteria can enter your bloodstream through diseased oral tissue. As they travel throughout your body, they can contribute to the development of systemic conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.

Bring your child to Dr. LaFrom’s office for a comprehensive dental checkup and cleaning before he or she starts the big school year. Continue to bring them at least once every six months for continued good oral health.  To schedule a consultation, contact Dr. LaFrom at our Cupertino dentist office by calling (408) 996-8595. We serve patients from Saratoga, Campbell, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Santa Clara County.

~ by cupertinodentist on August 6, 2012.

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