In recent blogs, we’ve talked about how a fluoride treatment can helps strengthen outer enamel to protect little smiles from cavities. In today’s blog, we would like to highlight another preventive option that can protect children from the onset of tooth decay. Find out how your Gary, IN, dentist employs dental sealants to reduce the risk of tooth decay and infection.
How Does a Cavity Form?
A cavity forms when harmful bacteria is allowed to reach the inner layers of dentin, a sensitive tooth structure that is porous and surrounds the inner pulp. Our outer enamel typically safeguards this layer, but if the enamel weakens and erodes due to poor oral hygiene, or becomes damaged when a tooth is cracked or chipped, then a cavity can form as the dentin is exposed. Treating a cavity is crucial, as eventually the bacteria could reach the inner pulp and lead to a serious infection or abscess.
Prevention with Dental Sealants
When we consume foods and drinks high in sugar and don’t practice good oral hygiene, this allows plaque buildup to form, weakening your tooth enamel. For children, reaching the rear molars when brushing and flossing is difficult, which enables food particles to remain trapped between these teeth, where bacteria consumes them and causes plaque to form. However, a dental sealant is a layer of plastic material we place over these teeth, preventing food from becoming trapped between them.
To apply the sealant, we first clean and then dry the teeth. We apply the material and allow it to cure. The sealants can stay in place for years, wearing away with time. If necessary, we can apply them again in future visits. Since food no longer becomes trapped between these hard-to-reach rear teeth, the risk of cavities decreases.
Prevention with Better Oral Hygiene
While sealants are very effective, your kids also need to practice good oral hygiene to limit the accumulation of plaque and safeguard the smile. When waking up, they should brush for about two minutes. For kids three and older, a toothpaste containing fluoride is necessary. At night, they should brush once more and also floss thoroughly. Cutting back on sugary foods and drinks is beneficial as well. Your little ones also benefit from a routine six month visit for a dental cleaning, which allows our team to remove all plaque from the teeth. If you have any questions about cavity prevention or dental sealants, then contact our team today.
Does Your Child Need Preventive Care?
We have children’s dental treatments to help little smiles stay healthy, strong, and bright. To learn more, schedule your visit with Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry in Gary, IN, today by calling 219-938-2637.