When it comes to actions that can prevent tooth decay, many parents think only of brushing and flossing. In fact, there are quite a few preventative treatments that lower the risk of tooth decay in children.
Read through this overview of fluoride treatments and sealants to learn how you can better protect your child’s oral health:
Even if you and your child brush and floss every day, it’s crucial to visit a pediatric dentist at least every six months for fluoride treatments. Fluoride is an effective form of preventative dentistry that can protect your child against tooth decay. The fluoride that occurs naturally in our diet and water is constantly lost when plaque and bacteria produce acids, which eat away at the tooth enamel and cause cavities. Fluoride treatments restore the much-needed minerals and harden the enamel, which in turn strengthens the teeth against cavities and tooth decay.
In-office fluoride treatments are generally applied as foam, gel, or varnish and come in a variety of flavors. Applying fluoride to the teeth generally takes only a few minutes, but children shouldn’t eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after the treatment.
Dental sealants are another great preventative measure that parents can take to protect their children against tooth decay. Most sealants are clear or white plastics applied to the grooves in the crowns of the back teeth. This is an area particularly prone to tooth decay, as it is more difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss. Sealants protect the tooth from food and acid-producing plaque that causes cavities. Most dentists recommend placing sealants as each adult molar appears.
The procedure is non-invasive and is relatively fast and simple. After the grooves are thoroughly cleaned, a dentist applies a sealant that is usually hardened with a light. In less than a minute, your child will have a significantly reduced likelihood of cavities on the back teeth.
From gentle cleanings to preventative care, the pediatric dentistry professionals at Best Kids Dentist make every effort to help our young patients have healthy, cavity-free smiles. Call (718) 491-5300 to schedule an appointment for a fluoride treatment or sealants.