If your child has been having more cavities than usual, there are some things that his or her dentist can do to help. You may already have started enforcing longer sessions of brushing and regular flossing. However, there are preventive applications that your child's dentist can use to help your youngster avoid tooth decay. Here are two of them:
Dental sealants are plastic or resin coatings that are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of a child's back teeth. The molars typically have deeper grooves in their grinding surfaces. Thus, food and plaque can readily settle in the crevices. If the debris is not quickly removed from the teeth, dental decay can occur.
Most decay is related to acid that is released by oral bacteria. When your child eats, the bacteria in his or her mouth feed on the simple carbohydrates in your child's meal or snack. During the bacteria's digestive process, which is called glycolysis, acid is released as a byproduct. This acid can dissolve your child's tooth enamel, resulting in dental decay. However, if a dental sealant is applied to the areas that have been most susceptible to decay, the barrier prevents the acid from damaging the enamel. In addition, the resin material of the sealant fills in some of the grooves so that debris is less likely to rest there.
Fluoride treatments are often provided by pediatric dentists. The treatments are designed to help strengthen your child's teeth. Fluoride can be brushed on to the teeth as a varnish or allowed to settle on the teeth as a gel. After the fluoride treatment has remained in place for the prescribed period, it is removed from your child mouth. However, your child's dentist may ask you to delay meals and snacks for a short time after the treatment to ensure that the fluoride has had enough time to be properly absorbed by your youngster's teeth.
Fluoride hardens the teeth by coating the surface of the tooth enamel and drawing essential minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, back to the teeth. Fluoride combines with the minerals to form a new, harder tooth material. As a result, your child's teeth become more resistant to decay.
To learn more ways to protect your child's teeth, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist in your area to learn additional info. The dentist can assess your child's dental health and suggest appropriate preventive measures to keep his or teeth free of decay.Share