Your Richfield, MN, dentist offers care for people of all ages, and that includes children. In addition to checkups, cleanings, and fillings, we also have preventive treatments meant to help safeguard teeth against the onset of tooth decay. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at the benefits of dental sealants.
Tooth Decay and Children
Just like you, children are susceptible to tooth decay. Cavities form when harmful bacteria reaches the inner dentin, the sensitive and porous layers that make up most of the tooth structure. Typically, the outer enamel provides a barrier between bacteria and this layer. However, plaque buildup due to poor oral hygiene could weaken this layer, and injury, such as cracks or chips, could compromise it. A cavity then forms that unless treated, will grow worse and eventually lead to painful infection or even the risk of a lost tooth! To reduce the risk, we suggest kids drink water in lieu of soda, energy drinks, or sports drinks, and eat fewer snacks with high amounts of sugar and starch. Brushing daily, and floss as well, is also beneficial for preventing tooth decay.
For many kids, cavities are more likely to form in the rear of the mouth. The molars may be hard for little ones to reach when they brush and floss, which means food remains trapped between these teeth to be broken down by bacteria, a process that causes plaque buildup and weakened enamel. However, a dental sealant is a special acrylic coating we place over the rear teeth to prevent food from becoming stuck between them. The sealants will wear away with time and if needed, can be re-applied in the future. They can help prevent cavities in children of all ages!
We also have fluoride varnish available. A naturally-occurring mineral, fluoride has been shown to strengthen outer enamel and lower the risk of cavities. That’s why we add it to our drinking water! For added protection, our team may suggest applying fluoride directly to the teeth in a varnish. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes to complete and helps reduce the risk of cavities. We can add the varnish during routine six-month checkup and cleaning visits, which kids should start attending once they reach age two. If you have any questions about protecting kids from tooth decay then contact our team today to learn more.
Do You Have Questions About Children’s Dentistry?
Our team wants to help kids of all ages continue to enjoy optimal oral health throughout the year. To find out more our approach to children’s dentistry, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.