Dental sealants are one of many ways of preventing cavities in children.
Easy steps can be taken at home to lower the chance that a child will require dental treatment. It’s not always easy for children to cope with fillings and extractions, so dentists and families must work together to build healthy habits at home to keep teeth strong.
The earlier a family brings a child to the dentist, the sooner they can implement personalized advice about how to protect new baby teeth and future permanent teeth. Pediatricians and dentists agree that children should be professionally examined in a dental office by age 1.
Physicians, dentists, and other healthcare providers may offer to apply fluoride to your child’s teeth during a visit in their offices. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can strengthen the outer layer of teeth, enamel. Most Americans have access to optimally fluoridated community drinking water, which helps protect the teeth of all who drink from and cook with this water.
Once the first permanent molars erupt they should be evaluated by a dentist and treated with sealants. These teeth come in between ages 5 and 7 for most children. There are naturally occurring grooves and pits on these teeth that can catch food and be difficult to keep clean even with vigorous tooth brushing. Once plaque collects, bacteria may cause a cavity. A sealant is a thin clear plastic-like protective coating that gets painted on to the biting surface of a molar and prevents these cavities from forming. They are easy for most children to tolerate since they’re fast, odorless, tasteless and do not require any anesthesia.
Diet also plays a big role in maintaining tooth health. Children who consume juice, soda, sugary snacks, frequent carbohydrates, sticky candies and other high-risk foods are very likely to develop cavities. A dental professional can educate you about child-friendly substitutions for drinks and foods less likely to harm their teeth.
Even unsweetened milk can be a source of tooth decay. If a child goes to bed with a bottle of milk, they are likely falling asleep with carbohydrates coating their teeth. These molecules are turned into acid by bacteria in the mouth and can cause infections quickly. Do not let your children go to bed with anything except water. Toothpaste should be the last substance in contact with teeth before a nap or falling asleep at night.Back to Dental Topics
Dr. Shane Fisher
Dr. Shane Fisher, a board certified pediatric dentist, has over 15 years of providing comprehensive dental care for infants, children and teenagers. He has consistently received 5 star ratings throughout social media. He has patients that travel from all over the metropolitan area including Mequon, Whitefish Bay, Thiensville, River Hills, Fox Point, Glendale and other northern Milwaukee suburbs.
If you would like for your child to have a great experience at a pediatric dentist, please call Dr. Shane A. Fisher at The Kids Dentist 262-241-0400 or complete an online appointment request.