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Protecting Your Child's Teeth From Decay

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If you are the parent of a young child, you are likely concerned about your little one's dental health. Many children suffer from dental caries, and although caries may be present in the pediatric teeth, they may still affect the permanent teeth that have not yet erupted. Thus, the proper preventive care of a youngster's teeth is important.   

At-home care may include regular brushing and flossing. In addition, parents may discourage their little ones from eating large amounts of sugary or starchy foods.  

Oral microorganisms feed on simple sugars from leftover foods in the mouth and produce acidic waste. The acids released by the microbes dissolve the child's tooth enamel to cause dental caries.  

To protect the health of a child's teeth, pediatric dental clinics may offer several services. Here are a few of them.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants help block oral acids from making contact with the tooth enamel. The sealants are actually thin plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Dentists frequently place the sealants on the pediatric molars, since the back teeth have the deepest grooves in their chewing services. The deep grooves allow food particles and plaque to settle on the teeth, leaving the oral bacteria with an abundant supply of food from the edible debris. In turn, the microorganisms feed and release acid directly onto the dental surfaces of the molar. 

To place the sealants on the teeth, the dentist applies the plastic material in a liquid form. Once the teeth are coated, the material is hardened with a bright light. The sealant may remain in place for years, effectively protecting the child's teeth.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride can help remineralize the teeth to discourage the development of cavities by attracting displaced minerals back to the teeth to prevent damage. The fluoride also combines chemically with the displaced minerals to form new tooth material. Although fluoride may be present in your child's toothpaste, the fluoride application provided by the dentist contains a higher concentration of the substance.

During the application, the dentist paints the fluoride product onto the teeth and allows it to sit for the recommended period. Once the proper time has elapsed, which is usually only a couple of minutes, the dentist rinses the child's mouth, and the procedure is complete. 

To find more ways to protect your child's teeth from decay, schedule an appointment with a pediatric specialist in your local area.