• 28 OCT 15
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    Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy with Dental Sealants and Fluoride

    Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy with Dental Sealants and Fluoride

    As parents, we want to do as much as possible to keep our children healthy in all aspects. When it comes to oral health, we have two ways to help protect our children from cavities. Fluoride helps protect tooth enamel in general, while the chewing surfaces, with their grooves and pits, can be protected with dental sealants. If your child needs extra protection from cavities, call Dr. Kimmy Dental Care at our Manhasset, NY office at 516-365-4-KID to make an appointment with Dr. Kimmy. She and her caring staff will be happy to discuss your options and help you protect your little one’s teeth.

    What Are Dental Sealants?

    Dental sealants are placed on the chewing surface of the molars and premolars to protect against cavities. The chewing surfaces of these teeth often have deep grooves that may be narrower than a single bristle on a toothbrush, which makes them hard to completely clean. In young children, these grooves, or fissures, are where 90% of cavities occur.

    A dental sealant is a plastic coating placed on these surfaces to keep plaque from developing in the fissures and provide a smooth surface to make cleaning easier. Sealants can be applied to people of any age, but are especially recommended for children around the age of six, when the first permanent molars erupt, and twelve, when the second permanent molars come in. In most cases, dental sealants will last five to ten years, then they dissolve. Sealants cost about half as much as a dental filling and are extremely effective at preventing cavities.

    Is Applying a Sealant Painful?

    Applying a dental sealant is a comfortable process that doesn’t require shots for numbing or the use of a drill. To start the process, Dr. Kimmy will prepare the tooth by polishing it to remove any plaque from the grooves. Then an acidic solution will be applied to the tooth, creating a rougher surface and microscopic areas for the sealant to bond. Next, Dr. Kimmy will use a brush to apply the sealant to the surface of the tooth and a curing light will harden the sealant. Finally, the dentist will check occlusion and make any necessary adjustments.

    Do I Still Need to Use Fluoride with Sealants?

    Fluoride is a mineral proven to attract other minerals that make tooth enamel hard. For kids whose teeth are still developing, fluoride can –e ingested in tap water (in most counties within the USA), and also topically with fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Note that adults only benefit from topically applied fluoride, because their teeth are fully developed.

    Why does enamel need fluoride for extra strength? When we eat starches, including sugar, or acidic foods and beverages, phosphorus and calcium are leeched out of tooth enamel, leaving them soft. When enamel softens, it is prone to bacteria creating cavities. The enamel strength added –y fluoride helps enamel stay stronger longer, and regain strength more quickly, which ultimately helps protect enamel from softening. Topically applied dental fluoride does not last forever, so –e sure that your children brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and, for extra protection, add a fluoride rinse to their daily home dental care regimen.

    Schedule an Office Visit Today

    Don’t take chances with your child’s oral health. Fluoride is important for healthy teeth, but on its own, may not be enough. Call our Manhasset, NY office today at 516b365b4bKID and schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimmy. She will apply fluoride and dental sealants to protect your little one’s teeth so they can enjoy life with fewer dental visits and a healthy mouth.

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