While checkups and cleaning are crucial for protecting smiles of all ages from tooth decay, they aren’t the only option your Richfield, MN, dentist offers. In today’s blog, we would like to explain how fluoride treatments and dental sealants keep dental cavities from forming and protect the health and beauty of little smiles.
A cavity can occur when harmful bacteria reaches the inner layers of dentin, a sensitive and porous structure that sits beneath the enamel and surrounds the inner pulp. This access is often provided when a tooth becomes injured and a crack or chip forms. If we don’t care for our teeth each day with thorough brushing and flossing, and we also consume a lot of sugary foods and drinks, this can lead to plaque buildup, which weakens the enamel. As the enamel erodes, bacteria can reach the dentin and a cavity forms. Over time, the issue grows worse until an infection arises once bacteria meets the inner pulp.
To help protect little smiles, we may offer a fluoride treatment. By coating the teeth in fluoride in the form of a special varnish, we strengthen the outer tooth enamel. We can then apply the varnish again in future checkup and cleaning visits.
Even if children brush and floss each day, they may have trouble thoroughly cleaning the rear teeth. As a result, food can become trapped between these teeth, allowing bacteria to break them down and causing cavities to form. However, we can apply a special acrylic coating to these teeth. We first dry them and apply the sealant. We then cure the layer, enabling it to stay in place for years at a time. The layers then wear away gradually, but we can always reapply as needed. The sealant keeps food from becoming trapped between the rear teeth, lowering the risk of cavities in children’s smiles.
Brushing and Flossing
Your children also need to care for their smiles from home in between routine office visits. For example, kids need to brush their teeth for two minutes when they wake up and again before going to sleep at night. Flossing is also crucial, as this reaches food particles a toothbrush alone cannot. You can help your children clean their teeth and also monitor them. Downloading a fun app or podcast can help make the process more enjoyable for your little one!
Does Your Child Need a Visit?
Preventive care helps your child enjoy healthier smiles and avoid the onset of serious problems, such as decay or infection. To find out more about our approach to children’s dentistry, schedule a consultation with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.