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Posts for: February, 2018


Protecting a child's primary (“baby”) teeth from tooth decay should be a top priority. If one is lost prematurely due to decay, it could cause the permanent tooth to misalign when it comes in.

The basic prevention strategy for every child is daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits. But children at higher risk for decay may need more:  additional fluoride applied to teeth enamel during office visits.

This natural mineral has been shown to strengthen enamel, teeth's protective layer against decay, especially during its early development. Enamel is composed of calcium and phosphate minerals interwoven to form a crystalline structure called hydroxyapatite. Fluoride joins with this structure and changes it to fluorapatite, which is more resistant to mouth acid than the original structure.

We mostly receive fluoride through fluoridated drinking water and dental care products like toothpaste. Topical fluoride takes it a step further with a stronger dose than found in either of these sources. It can be applied with a foam, varnish or gel using an isolation tray (foam or gel) or painted onto the enamel (varnish or gel).

But does topical fluoride effectively reduce the occurrence of decay? Research indicates yes: a recent review of 28 studies involving over 9,000 children found an average 28% reduction in decayed teeth in children who underwent topical fluoride treatments.

There is, though, one potential side effect: children who swallow the fluoride substance can become sick and experience headache, stomach pain or vomiting. This can be avoided with proper precautions when applying it; the American Dental Association also recommends using only varnish for children younger than 6 years. It's also recommended that children receiving gel or foam not eat or drink at least thirty minutes after the treatment (those who receive the varnish aren't restricted in this way).

Topical fluoride is most effective as part of an overall prevention strategy. Besides daily hygiene and regular dental visits, you can also help reduce your child's decay risk by limiting the amount of sugar in their diet. Sealants, which are applied to the nooks and grooves of teeth where plaque can build up, may also help.

If you would like more information on fluoride gels and other clinical treatments to prevent tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By George L. Landress, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
February 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Nearly a quarter of children between the ages of two and five have had cavities in their primary teeth, and three out of five children ages sealants12-19 had them in their permanent teeth according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A dental sealant treatment can help you help your child avoid dental cavities. Find out more about this preventative treatment for young people, which is available at Danbury Smiles in Danbury, CT.

What Are Sealants?
A dental sealant is a special resin-based substance that is painted on the top of the teeth to guard against cavities. When it hardens, it forms a barrier over the pits and fissures of each molar so that food and bacteria can't affect the enamel. It is most often used to treat children because they are the most likely to get multiple cavities.

How They Can Help Your Child
Children tend to love foods and snacks that are filled with sugar, including soft drinks, cereals, and candy. But unfortunately, they don’t particularly love brushing their teeth. When they do brush their teeth, they don't always do a thorough job. Dental sealants reduce the chance that children will form cavities, even when they neglect good dental hygiene. The sealant also hardens teeth that are still developing. However, keep in mind that a sealant should not be a replacement for a child brushing his or her teeth twice per day.

Applying Sealants
A dental sealant treatment is a very straightforward and simple appointment that should only take a few minutes at your Danbury, CT dentist office. You child has nothing to be afraid of, as it is also a pain-free procedure. The dentist will first clean each tooth carefully to make sure that they are free of any particles. An etching solution is applied with a brush followed by the liquid sealant material. Finally, a curing light hardens the sealant, bonding it firmly to the enamel. 

Have Your Child Treated
If your child has had cavities in the past or you're concerned about future cavities, dental sealants can relieve your worries. Call (203) 743-7608 today to schedule a dentist appointment with Dr. George Landress at Danbury Smiles in Danbury, CT.