Tooth Decay Prevention

“The dentists and staff are so nice and extremely professional. Everything is explained to me that is easy to understand, and they are always polite in answering my questions.”
– David,
patient since 2008
patient since 2007
“When I grow up, I want to be a teeth cleaner like Dr. Krista and Dr. Robert!”
– Grace,
patient since 2010

Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.


The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88% of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.

Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments. It is important to understand that cavities can form under sealants. Talk to your dentist to see what is best for your child.


Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary. As of 2008, very few communities in Louisiana have fluoridated tap water. Depending on where you live, your dentist may recommend your child take a fluoride supplement.

Children will receive a topical fluoride varnish applied to their teeth by the hygienist as part of their preventative visit. This treatment is recommended by the American Dental Association 3-4 times per year. We will be happy to apply the fluoride varnish for adults for a nominal fee.

Thumb Sucking

Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.

Here are some ways to help your child outgrow thumb sucking:

  • Don’t scold a child when they exhibit thumb sucking behavior; instead, praise them when they don’t thumb suck.
  • Focus on eliminating the cause of anxiety – thumb sucking is a comfort device that helps children cope with stress or discomfort.
  • Praise them when they refrain from the habit during difficult periods.
  • Place a bandage on the thumb or a sock on their hand at night.

Oral Cancer Screening

If caught early, oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases. Our practice is proud to offer a simple visual test at our office called, ViziLite that helps detect oral cancer at its earliest stages. ViziLite allows us to be more thorough in our visual examination of the mouth by making abnormal areas clearer that were once harder to see.

The ViziLite test is quick and pain-free; taking only two minutes. After swishing a cleansing solution in your mouth for 60 seconds, our staff will perform a visual examination using the ViziLite. This revolutionary technology enables us to recognize potential oral cancer areas early and treat them before they become more serious.

Bruns Family Dental Center

  • Bruns Family Dental Center - 6860 Bluebonnet Blvd., Suite B, Baton Rouge, LA 70810 Phone: 225-769-0222 Fax: 225-769-0212

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