Good oral hygiene and regular dental care are important parts of a child’s health. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), between 40-50% of children will be affected by tooth decay before age five. The AAPD recommends that kids have their first visit to the dentist by their first birthday. Finding a dentist who is knowledgeable and experienced in pediatric dentistry is the first step in establishing and maintaining good oral health for your child. Finding a family dentist that your kids will actually like and look forward to seeing is equally important. Our Aegis Dental office places a strong emphasis on making sure that your child’s first dental visit is a fun, relaxing, pleasant experience that sets the tone for how they feel about visiting the dentist for the rest of their lives. Everyone is welcoming, friendly and relaxed. Dr. Chandy is warm, gentle, caring and loves to work with children. Being a mother of three kids, her warm, engaging personality makes her the perfect kid’s dentist. Of course the unknown always feels a little challenging for kids — not to mention adults – but kids are also naturally curious, so Dr. Chandy and her team always take the time to explain anything unfamiliar, answer any questions and allow the child to explore –and actually have a fun and interesting time. With Dr. Chandy, her friendly staff and the parents all working together as a team, we can create a very positive experience for your kids’ dentist visits — and foster lifelong habits of excellent dental health. Dr. Chandy recommends fluoride applications and sealants to prevent cavities in kids.
Sealants for Children
Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.
Fluoride Treatment for Children
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including oceans, lakes and rivers. Research shows that fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter, helping repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay can be seen.
There are two ways that you can benefit from fluoride: topically and systemically.
Topical fluoride is the type of fluoride you receive at the dental office or when you use dental products—such as toothpastes or mouth rinses. Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply, which in the United States applies to nearly 74 percent of the population. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride taken in largely from drinking water and other beverages strengthens tooth enamel making it stronger and more resistant to cavities. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, you are providing a “topical” benefit because the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.
In addition, drinking fluoridated water and other fluoridated beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth and helping to rebuild weakened tooth enamel. The maximum reduction in tooth decay occurs when fluoride is available systemically and topically. Studies show that community water fluoridation, the addition of fluoride to water to a recommended level for preventing tooth decay, prevents at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults. In fact, community water fluoridation is noted as the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proclaimed community water fluoridation as “one of 10 great public health achievements.”
The American Dental Association and more than 100 other national and international organizations recognize the public health benefits of fluoridated water in preventing tooth decay.
For your appointments, please call 972-492-6700.