Kids often have a little difficulty reaching the molars, the teeth in the rear of the mouth. As a result, this is the area most prone to developing tooth decay. Which is why we offer dental sealants! In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about how we use dental sealants to prevent cavities.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
How does a cavity form in your child’s smile? Often, this is because food particles, particularly sugar and starch, are left trapped on or between the teeth after a meal. If children don’t brush and floss properly, these remain there for bacteria to consume. This elevates oral acidity and coats the teeth in plaque and tartar, which begin to weaken and erode the meal to cause tooth decay. The cavity will grow with time, and could mean infection without treatment. Other factors include teeth grinding and injury to the tooth, essentially anything that exposes the sensitive inner dentin to harmful oral bacteria. Warning signs could include tooth sensitivity when they eat and drink or a toothache that lasts for more than a day.
Placing Dental Sealants
Our team could help prevent cavities in the hard-to-reach rear teeth, the molars that are often difficult to brush and floss regularly for young children or those with limited dexterity or special needs. We begin by drying the teeth and applying the dental sealant. This plastic layer is then cured with a light. Once in place, this prevents foods from becoming trapped between these teeth or even adhering to them. They can stay in place for up to ten years in some cases, and can re-apply as needed. The sealants will wear away gradually, and as they do, they will cling to the more visible portions of the tooth the longest.
During each checkup, we could also offer another preventive treatment with fluoride gel. This topical agent is placed to help protect smiles in a matter of minutes, and this helps strengthen the outer enamel to keep it strong and reduce the risk of enamel erosion and cavities. You can also help by ensuring your children use toothpaste with fluoride. Kids there and younger should use a rice-sized bit, and kids over the age of three need a pea-sized amount. They can also drink tap water to stay hydrated and provide fluoride as well.
If you have any questions about how we treat tooth decay or help prevent it, then contact our team today to learn more.
You Should Contact Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist
Our team has options for protecting teeth from the onset of tooth decay. To learn more about the options we use to prevent cavities, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.