Protect Your Child’s Teeth With Sealants, Fluoride Treatments, and Regular Checkups

When you think about good dental hygiene practices for your child, you likely think about brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. While these are important, this list misses a few key ingredients. These missing ingredients are sealants, fluoride, and, of course, regular dental cleanings. 

The team at Joey Cazares, DDS and Associates know these three things all have an important place in your child’s dental care routine. Including them can set up your child for a lifetime of healthy teeth. 

What are dental sealants?

The American Dental Association (ADA) says to think of sealants as “raincoats for your teeth.” Dental sealants are basically a liquid form of plastic. A sealant is painted onto the chewing surfaces of teeth ― usually the back teeth ― and then the thin layer hardens. By covering these areas, the teeth can be protected from decay. Of course, sealants aren’t a substitute for good brushing and flossing, but they’re proven to help reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay by up to 80% in molars.

Sealants are especially important for young children who haven’t developed perfect brushing and flossing skills yet, as well as for children who tend to eat a lot of sticky foods. As for when to bring your little one in for treatment, the ADA recommends asking your dentist about sealants as soon as you see molars peeking out, which usually occurs around age 6. Second molars typically appear around age 12. 

What is fluoride?

Fluoride, which is another important component of preventative dental care, is a naturally occurring element found in water, soil, and many foods. It’s also added to many toothpastes and mouthwashes, because this element can help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride helps protect teeth by replenishing lost calcium and phosphorus in the enamel. 

Just keep in mind that too much fluoride isn’t a good thing in young children. Exposure and fluoride ingestion in young children can lead to dental fluorosis, a condition in which the tooth enamel becomes damaged. Very young children should not use a mouthwash with added fluoride, and you should supervise your child during brushing to ensure they don’t swallow fluoridated toothpaste. If you’re concerned about fluoride exposure, ask Dr. Cazares about your child’s current oral hygiene routine and how much fluoride they should be exposed to.

Why get regular dental checkups?

Dr. Cazares routinely provides fluoride and applies sealants at regular dental checkups. These are two big reasons why you shouldn’t skip your child’s biannual cleaning. Additionally, Dr. Cazares will check for signs of tooth decay and dental disease and thoroughly clean your child’s teeth and gums so they stay on track with their oral hygiene. 

To schedule a dental checkup for your child, book an appointment over the phone with Joey Cazares, DDS and Associates today.

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