Children often have difficulty brushing the teeth in the back of the mouth, which are called molars. Located on the top and bottom arches, these teeth are important for crushing food, prior to swallowing. The crushing surface of molars can have many crevices and pits that hold food debris and bacteria, and keeping them clean is important. Without proper brushing of the molars, they become vulnerable to tooth decay, which we call cavities. At Value Dental Center in Queen Creek, AZ, our dentists often suggest clear dental sealants on the molars of children, to create a barrier against the bacteria that cause cavities.
About Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a safe, clear plastic coating that we apply on the chewing surface of molars, most often in children. The process of applying sealants takes mere minutes, and the benefits can be dramatic. Over time, sealants naturally deteriorate, so they never have to be removed. Sometimes, we re-seal teeth when an existing sealant needs replenishing.
Sealants literally create a barrier to keep food, plaque, and bacteria from lodging in the fissures and pits of molars. They fill in the low-lying areas to create a smoother surface that will not allow food and bacteria to accumulate. And while twice-daily brushing and daily flossing are still imperative, sealants are an extra preventive measure to help kids avoid cavities in molars, so they won’t need a mouthful of dental fillings.
Another Protective Measure
In addition to dental sealants, the dentist may recommend a fluoride supplement. The mineral fluoride has an amazing ability to attract other minerals that strengthen tooth enamel, which ultimately results in deterring cavities. Strangely, sharks (yes, those that swim in the sea) naturally have fluoride in their teeth, and they cannot get cavities. Human teeth, however, do not contain fluoride naturally. At our Queen Creek family dental office, we’ll apply a topical fluoride treatment to supplement the fluoride your kids receive in your toothpaste and through the city water supply.
Both sealants and fluoride are optional preventive measures that help children avoid tooth decay. If you have questions about either treatment, don’t hesitate to call our office or ask, at your appointment.
Caring for Kids’ Teeth at Home
As a parent, you want your children to have great overall health, which includes good dental health. Our team can partner with you to provide instructions on how you can assist your child in developing good brushing and flossing habits at home. It is imperative that parents help children brush and floss through early childhood, to ensure that thorough cleaning is accomplished. As your children age, they can take over their personal dental hygiene, but you must still check to make sure they’re not only maintaining a regular regimen, but also doing a good job. Busy kids and teens tend to neglect oral healthcare, so your diligence in managing their daily oral care is very important.
Schedule An Appointment
From the eruption of the first tooth, children should begin attending dental exams, and parents should brush the tooth/teeth twice a day. Once molars develop, sealants and fluoride may be applied to help thwart tooth decay. Our Value Dental Center team at Queen Creek wants to help you keep your kids’ teeth strong and healthy. We offer all facets of family dental care at affordable prices, in a convenient location. Call us today to schedule dental visits for the smiles you love most.