Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for both children and adults. However, children are at higher risk of developing cavities because they have a sweet tooth and may not brush their teeth properly. Fortunately, dental sealants and fluoride treatments can help reduce the risk of cavities and keep children's teeth healthy. Understanding the benefits of dental sealants and fluoride treatments for your child can help you prepare for a trip to the dentist.
Dental sealants protect the teeth using a thin, plastic coating placed on the surface of the teeth to protect them from decay. The sealant material is painted onto the teeth and hardened with a special light. The sealant forms a barrier that prevents bacteria and particles of food from becoming trapped in the grooves of your child's teeth. It is important to note that more than 50% of children between the ages of 6 and 8 have at least one cavity in their primary teeth.
The benefits of dental sealants for children are numerous. First and foremost, dental sealants prevent cavities. Children who have sealants on their teeth are less likely to develop cavities in those teeth. Sealants also protect the teeth from damage from everyday wear and tear.
Dental sealants are especially beneficial for children because they are more prone to cavities than adults. Children's teeth have deeper grooves and pits than adult teeth, making it more difficult to clean these areas properly. Sealants fill in these grooves and pits, creating a smooth surface that is easier to clean.
Dental sealants are also cost-effective. The cost of a sealant is much less than the cost of a filling, and it can last for several years. Most sealants last between three and ten years. Proper care ensures they last longer.
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally occurring in both water and soil. It is also added to toothpaste, mouthwash, and other dental products to help prevent cavities. Fluoride treatments are another way to protect children's teeth from decay.
A dentist or hygienist will apply fluoride gel or foam to the teeth during a fluoride treatment. The fluoride is then left on the teeth for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate the enamel. After the treatment, the child is instructed not to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to absorb fully into the teeth.
The benefits of fluoride treatments for children are similar to those of dental sealants. Fluoride treatments help prevent cavities by strengthening the tooth enamel. Fluoride can also reverse early signs of decay by remineralizing the enamel.
Fluoride treatments are especially beneficial for children at high risk of developing cavities. Children who have poor oral hygiene habits, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, or other risk factors for cavities can benefit greatly from fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatments are also cost-effective. The cost of a fluoride treatment is much less than the cost of a filling or other dental procedure. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of fluoride treatments, making them an affordable option for parents.
Dental sealants and fluoride treatments are two excellent ways to protect children's teeth from decay. These treatments are safe, effective, and cost-friendly. By protecting children's teeth from erosion, parents can make sure their children's teeth and gums stay healthy. If you're interested in dental sealants or fluoride treatments for your child, talk to a local dentist's office like New England Dental Specialists of Norwood to learn more about these options.