Posted by: Dealon Dental - A DC Dental Company | April 5, 2012

Stop Cavities Before They Begin With Dental Sealants

Because of the natural shape of their growing teeth, children are very prone to getting cavities. At around age 6, when a child’s first molars come in , deep crevices called pits and fissures form on the chewing surfaces of these back teeth. Pits and fissures are so narrow that even the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach into them, making them difficult to clean; however, these crevices provide plenty of room for bacteria to grow.

Your child’s eating habits can also lead to cavities because their diets generally include frequent snacking. While most children are usually brushing their own teeth by age 6, they may not be doing an adequate job. They rarely brush as often as necessary and their technique may need an occasional check by an adult.

What can you do? Pit & fissure sealants may be the answer.

Dental sealants are designed to protect your children’s teeth from cavities.  Pit & fissure sealants  are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and act as a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria. They are most effective when applied to decay-susceptible biting surfaces as soon as the teeth come in.

How sealants work: The sealing material is applied to the tooth surface using an “etching” fluid. The sealant partially penetrates the tooth enamel, ensuring that it is firmly attached to the tooth. Once applied, the sealant fills in the tooth’s grooves, hardens and creates a thin plastic barrier that keeps cavity-causing bacteria out of the pits and fissures.

Fast and painless application

You and your child will be happy to know that with sealants, there is no drilling and no discomfort. Sealants can be applied by either your dentist or a registered dental hygienist, and application takes less time than having a tooth filled.

After many years in use, sealants have proven to be safe, durable and effective.  Ask your dentist about how your child can benefit from the application of pit and fissure sealants to compliment your regular at-home preventive care regimen.

Other cavity prevention techniques

Regular at-home preventive care — brushing and flossing after every meal — can also help keep your child’s dental problems to a minimum. From age 2, children should begin to brush their own teeth with a parent’s help. Use a small, soft brush with just a small dab of fluoride toothpaste.

Children need a balanced diet to help their bodies — including teeth — develop. Calcium is extremely important for strong teeth and to the structure of the face and jaws. Make sure your child gets an adequate supply of calcium by eating calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese, which have been shown to inhibit the effects of harmful acids. Discourage snacks that are high in sugar or starch, and sticky foods that may remain in contact with teeth longer.

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