2 Preventive Treatments You Should Consider for Your Children

2 Preventive Treatments You Should Consider for Your Children

When a child’s first baby teeth appear when they’re 6 months to a year old, their parents tend to get a little bit excited. The first tooth — they’re so grown up now!

But that first tooth means something else too. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you take your child to their first dental visit within six months of their first tooth appearing, or by their first birthday — whichever comes first.

Trips to the dentist when kids are younger are all about getting them used to the dentist’s office, the chair, and the exam process. As children get older, the dentist begins checking for cavities and likely mentions preventive dental treatments you should consider for your children.

Here’s more about a couple of those treatments, from the expert team at Silicon Valley Dental Associates in Sunnyvale, California.

Sealant

One of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay in kids is to paint their teeth (particularly their back molars) with a protective sealant.

Teeth have cusps and grooves that are sometimes difficult to clean with a toothbrush. The sealant covers those surfaces with a protective shield that blocks germs and food.

According to the CDC, kids ages 6-11 without sealant applied have almost three times as many first molar cavities as kids who do. Sealing your child’s teeth can also save money on treatment down the road. 

Despite its effectiveness, the treatment is underused — less than half of kids ages 6-11 have sealant on their teeth.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral proven to prevent tooth decay. It’s commonly found in community water supplies. When applied to teeth directly, it strengthens the enamel, making it better able to resist the effects of acid on the teeth. 

Fluoride can also reverse early tooth decay and remineralize teeth that have had minerals stripped away by acid. 

Dentists can apply fluoride to children’s teeth with a foam or gel in a fluoride tray or with a fluoride varnish they paint onto the teeth.

Fluoride treatment for kids is generally recommended a couple of times a year. You can time this treatment with your regularly scheduled exam and cleaning, which you should also do twice a year to prevent cavities and gum disease.

If it’s time to get your kids in for a cleaning and a checkup, call Silicon Valley Dental Associates to make an appointment or book your visit online. The team is ready to help your kids enjoy the best dental health possible!

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