Teaching your children excellent dental hygiene involves more than just showing them how to brush and floss their teeth and restricting their candy consumption. Like adults (and sometimes, more so), children need routine dental care to help ensure that their teeth, gums, jawbones, and oral structures develop healthily and correctly. We recommend beginning regular dental visits for your child as early as 3 years old, though you can help them grow acquainted to the dentist’s office earlier by bringing them with you during your regularly scheduled checkup and cleaning appointments.

Fluoride and Dental Sealants

One of the most common conditions to affect young children’s dental health is tooth decay – the reason behind cavity development. Decay begins when bacteria, plaque, and food debris are left behind on your child’s teeth, eventually destroying the protective layer of enamel and infecting the underlying tooth structure. A cavity, or hole, develops in the tooth, and will grow as the infection spreads until it is treated.

Besides brushing, flossing, and checkup and cleaning appointments, preventing childhood cavities can be more effective with fluoride treatments and dental sealants. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps strengthen the mineral layer of enamel protecting your child’s teeth. Dental sealants, which are comprised of thin, clear acrylic, are applied in liquid form to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. Once it solidifies, the sealant will act as an additional barrier, protecting the nooks and crannies of a tooth’s surface where plaque tends to accumulate easier.

Make a Dental Appointment for Your Child

Children should attend regular dental appointments as often as adults to keep their smiles healthy, beautiful, and functioning properly. To schedule an appointment for your child or children, call Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.