Did you know that we have a treatment that can lower the risk of tooth decay by 80%? With dental sealants, we can help kids avoid cavities by protecting their most vulnerable teeth. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about how we safeguard little smiles with dental sealants.
The Causes of Cavities
Tooth decay occurs when harmful oral bacteria contact the dentin, the sensitive and soft tissues that composes most of our tooth structure. Typically, the outer enamel prevents bacteria from reaching the dentin, but plaque buildup brought on by poor oral hygiene habits and a diet high in sugar could weaken and erode the outer enamel. Injuries and teeth grinding could also compromise outer enamel. When the decay forms, it will grow in severity and eventually cause tooth sensitivity and toothaches. Lack of treatment could mean the onset of a cavity. However, we can help protect little smiles from cavities with our dental sealants.
Placing Dental Sealants
The rear teeth are often hard for kids to reach when brushing and flossing, so food and drink particles can remain trapped there for bacteria to break down, creating plaque buildup and causing cavities. But with sealants, we apply a protective layer to these teeth. We first clean them thoroughly and apply an acidic gel to roughen the surface of the teeth. We then apply them, and harden them with a special blue light. These layers can now stay in place for up to ten years, wearing away gradually with time and clinging to the more vulnerable portions of rear tooth structure the longest.
Other Preventive Actions
We could also help lower the risk of tooth decay by applying a topical fluoride gel to the teeth every six months during routine checkup visits. Fluoride helps strengthen the outer enamel of the teeth, lowering the overall risk of cavities. We also clean the teeth in these appointments to remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth. At home, you can help by making sure your kids brush and floss daily, and helping them cut back on items high in sugar and starch as part of their snacks and meals.
If you have any questions about how dental sealants and fluoride treatments lower the risk of cavities, or about scheduling a checkup and cleaning, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help children enjoy optimal oral health for years to come.
Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist Helps Stop Tooth Decay
We’re ready to help fight tooth decay and keep little smiles strong and healthy. To learn more about how we treat tooth decay or help prevent it, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.