Fluoride treatments and dental sealants keep cavities away
Sorry, cavities—you’re not welcome here! An important part of preventive dental care is protecting your child’s mouth from tooth decay, cavities, and other potential issues. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants are two effective methods we use to help protect your child’s pearly whites from future problems.
Topical fluoride treatments are typically recommended because fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and is scientifically proven to reduce the risk of cavities forming. Tooth decay is the most common dental issue that children face–so we do everything we can to put a stop to it.
At Southmoor Pediatric Dentistry, we use fluoride varnish because it’s easy to apply and highly effective. It also adheres to the teeth so little to none is ingested, making it safe for children of all ages (even infants).
Dental sealants are also recommended for many children, particularly those with 6-year and 12-year permanent molars. A sealant is a thin, white plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of a tooth: the pit and groove-filled area where most cavities form (not so groovy!).
Sealants act as a barrier, protecting the tooth by “sealing out” plaque and preventing food from settling into the pits and grooves. Sealants are recommended shortly after your child’s permanent molars erupt, but some deeply grooved baby molars may need them as well.
What to expect
It’s well worth the effort to provide extra protection for your child’s teeth. Here’s what you and your child can expect during your Southmoor visit.
Smile! We’ve got the insights you’re looking for
Smile! We’ve got the insights you’re looking for
Aren't they just baby teeth?
Yes, but most children get their first teeth by age 1 and lose their last baby tooth by age 13. Early care and prevention are crucial. Baby teeth shape the mouth, allow for chewing, appropriate speech, and help guide permanent teeth into the mouth correctly. Cavities are a bacteria that if left untreated can cause significant pain and spread to neighboring teeth, surrounding bone and throughout the body.Read more
What can parents do to help make dental experiences positive ones?
If parents have their own fear or anxiety about the dentist, they should not share those with their child. Dentistry has changed over the years, and it is important to allow their child the opportunity to like their dentist and their dental home. Parents can refer to the dentist and team as helpful and as friends. If the parents show they trust the dentist their child will too.Read more
Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of our regular family dentist?
Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the oral health of young people. Following dental school, a pediatric dentist spends two to three years in additional specialty training in the unique needs of infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special needs.Read more
What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle.Read more
At what age should my child visit a pediatric dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist should occur by twelve months of age. This visit will enable our pediatric dentists to evaluate your child and discuss proper oral hygiene. Early education and guidance about diet, fluoride, tooth eruption and finger/pacifier habits can help ensure optimal dental health.Read more
How often should my child visit a pediatric dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that most children visit the dentist at least twice a year. Some children need more frequent care and teeth cleanings because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns, or poor oral hygiene. Our pediatric dentists will help determine the best teeth cleaning schedule for your child.
Why are baby teeth important?
Primary teeth have been labeled “baby teeth.” Primary teeth are necessary for proper chewing, speech, development of the jaws and esthetics. Care of the primary teeth is important, not only for proper function but also to avoid a number of unpleasant conditions, such as pain, that result from their neglect.Read more
Does your child use a pacifier or suck his/her thumb?
This type of sucking is completely normal for infants and young children. It provides security and relaxation. Most children stop sucking their thumb or pacifier between two and four years of age with no harm to their teeth or jaws. However, children should cease these habits prior to the eruption of their permanent teeth.
Do you care for children with special needs?
Our pediatric dentists have an additional two years of advanced training beyond dental school. Their specialty education provided additional training that focused specifically on care for children with special needs. Additionally, our office is designed to be physically accessible to special patients.
What are dental sealants, and who can benefit from them?
The chewing surface of children’s teeth is most susceptible to cavities and least benefited from fluoride. Sealants are adhesive coatings that are applied to the tops of teeth and can be very effective in preventing tooth decay. Molars are the most decayed teeth because plaque accumulates in the tiny grooves of the chewing surfaces. Sealants prevent the cavities that fluoride cannot effectively reach.Read more
Does your child use a sippy cup?
Sippy cup or nursing bottle mouth (early childhood caries) is caused by frequent and lengthy exposure to liquids containing sugars (milk, breast milk, sports drinks, formula, soda, fruit juice) and can destroy your child’s teeth if not caught in time. It’s best to let us check your baby early, before his/her first birthday.
What causes tooth decay?
Four things are necessary for cavities to form—a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates, and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the carbohydrates or sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.
When should my child start using toothpaste?
Children may start using fluoride toothpaste when the baby teeth erupt, but only under direct supervision by a parent. Use only a very small amount of toothpaste (about half the size of a pea) and wipe off the tooth and gums with a washcloth afterwards.Read more