Brushing and flossing are crucial in keeping cavities at bay. However, cleaning teeth can be challenging due to their uneven shape. This especially applies to molars that are located at the back and used for chewing.
There’s a way, though, on how you can keep your little one’s pearly whites protected from cavities. The solution is called a sealant. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants reduce risk of cavities in the back teeth by 80%.
Dental sealants are thin coatings made out of plastic or other dental materials. They should not be treated as substitute to brushing and flossing but they can help stop cavities from forming.
Tooth enamel gains and loses minerals in natural processes called remineralization and demineralization. However, when the tooth enamel loses more minerals than it receives, cavities or holes can form. These holes make ideal places for bacteria to hide and thrive. They’re also more difficult to clean. With dental sealants in place, cavities are covered and hence prevent food debris from settling further. You get to shield your tooth from bacteria and acid attacks.
During your dental appointment, your dentist will first clean your tooth. After this, an acidic gel is applied, rinsed off, and is allowed to dried before the sealant is finally placed. The final step is hardening of the dental sealant with the help of a special blue light.
Both you and your little ones can receive dental sealants. However, the earlier you apply them, the better. When molars are sealed from the time they come through, you can save dental costs in the long run. This makes sealants a good investment not only for you but also for your family.
Apart from dental sealants, fluoride treatment is another way you can protect teeth of your children against cavities and decay. Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water and food. It is also usually combined in tap water. Fluoride treatments are safe and also work more effective when coupled with dental sealants.
Fluoride treatments come in gel, foam, or varnish form. Your dentist will recommend the best type to use depending on the situation of your child’s oral health. Overall, fluoride treatments will help strengthen teeth and maintain good oral health.
As with the case with dental sealants, both you and your child can benefit from dental fluoride. Kids can also use fluoridated toothpaste once their first tooth appears. Please note, though, to use only a little amount. Progress to a pea-sized amount once your little one turns three.
Proper storage of fluoridated products is also essential to keep them from children under the age of three. Not to worry, though, as toothpastes contain only a small amount of fluoride, making it difficult to reach toxic levels.
Contact our Rundle Dental team to learn more about dental sealants and fluoride treatments for kids.
Schedule a visit with a dentist in NE Calgary today!