Understanding The Problem Of Soft Dental Enamel In Children

Tooth enamel is the hard outer coating that sits across every one of your teeth. Dental enamel is stronger than the bone, and it is meant to protect the softer parts of the teeth that sit underneath the enamel. While the outer tooth coating is hard, some children will have softer enamel than others. If your child's dentist has mentioned that your child has soft tooth enamel, then keep reading to understand the problem and also how the teeth can be protected properly from decay.

Soft Dental Enamel

If your child has soft dental enamel, then there are many causes for the oral condition. The tooth enamel may have been affected by a medication that was taken while your child was still developing in the uterus. Medications that your child has taken can also affect the development of the tooth enamel. Long-term and serious diseases may also cause soft enamel, and if your child does not eat a lot of nutritious food that contains the vitamins and minerals needed to build strong teeth, then this can also cause a problem with soft enamel.

Soft tooth enamel can lead to cavities. Your child may also experience dental sensitivity since the enamel will be thinner and more porous. The dentin underneath the enamel may then be exposed to pressure, stress, and temperature changes when hot and cold foods are eaten. Teeth with weaker enamel are more likely to crack or break as well. This may mean that your child will need to have dental restorations, like dental crowns, added to the teeth at a young age.

Protecting The Teeth

If your child has a soft enamel condition, then your son or daughter's dentist may suggest a variety of treatments to protect the teeth from decay and breaks. These treatments may include regularly scheduled fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments help to strengthen the bonds between the minerals in the tooth enamel. This means that the fluoride can increase overall enamel strength over time. 

Sealants may also be secured over the teeth. Sealants will not harden the enamel like fluoride can, but they can create a solid surface over the biting surfaces of the teeth. This makes it more difficult for food and plaque to gather in the tooth surfaces, and this stops cavities from developing. Bonding treatments may also be scheduled, but this occurs only if the soft enamel needs to be covered more permanently. These sorts of treatments are common after the adult teeth come in and other enamel-strengthening treatments are tried. 

If you have more concerns about your child's soft tooth enamel, talk to a dentist like those at Alaska Dental Arts.