With the holiday season comes plenty of sugary sweets, which could lead to cavities in little smiles. Fortunately, your Independence, MO, dentist can help protect kids from cavities with two very unique and convenient preventive treatment options. Learn more about fluoride treatments and dental sealants in today’s blog!
How Do Kids Get Cavities?
Cavities form due to a number of different factors. For example, when we don’t brush and floss daily, or undergo dental cleanings, this allows plaque to form as bacteria consume stray food particles. Plaque not only leads to stained teeth and inflamed gum tissue, but could begin to weaken and erode enamel, allowing bacteria to each the inner and sensitive layers of tooth structure and causing a cavity to form. Injury, such as cracks or chips, could also lead to the onset of tooth decay. A diet high in sugary and starchy foods also promotes cavities as bacteria love to consume these particles!
Prevention with Sealants and Fluoride
Let’s talk about dental sealants. For many children, reaching the rear teeth when brushing and flossing is difficult. This can even be tough for parents brushing their toddler’s teeth! Food particles then remain stuck between these teeth and will be broken down by bacteria, leading to the onset of tooth decay. However, a dental sealant is a thin layer of acrylic material we place on these rear teeth. The layer prevents food from becoming stuck between the teeth, lowering the risk of decay. The sealants then stay in place for years and wear away naturally with time.
We also have fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens outer tooth enamel. In fact, since being added to our water supply this mineral has lowered cavity rates in people of all ages. For added protection, we can apply fluoride to the teeth in a varnish form. This takes only a few minutes and can be done during routine checkup and cleaning visits every six months.
Keeping Smiles Healthy at Home
What steps can you take at home to safeguard your child’s smile? Well, first try to offer healthy snack choices and water in lieu of candy, chips, soda, energy drinks, or sports drinks. Make sure your little one is brushing his or her teeth in the morning and again at night using a fluoridated toothpaste. Make time every few months to see us for an exam and to have their teeth professionally cleaned. With a few simple steps, you can keep their smiles healthy and strong!
We Offer Children’s Dentistry
With routine care and unique treatment options, we can help kids of all ages enjoy healthy smiles throughout the holiday season. For more information on our children’s treatment options, then schedule a consultation by contacting Independence Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Independence, MO, today at 816-350-0808. We also proudly serve patients who live in Blue Springs, Kansas City, and all surrounding communities.