If you have a school-age child, you may be concerned about the health of their teeth, especially if the youngster's permanent teeth have already started grow in. By taking precautionary measures at home, such as regular brushing and flossing, your child can help ensure that their teeth remain free of decay. Still, at-home dental hygiene alone may not be enough to keep your child's mouth healthy. Thus, the oversight of a pediatric dentist, such as Dentistry For Children & Adolescents, is important.
Here are a few ways that your child's dentist can help your child avoid dental decay.
Many children suffer from misaligned teeth. The crooked alignment may be due to poor habits, such as thumb-sucking or the prolonged use of a pacifier. However, a child's dental misalignment may also be due to their inherited alignment pattern.
Regardless of the cause of the misalignment, if your child's teeth are crowded or arranged in a pattern that makes thorough brushing and flossing difficult, areas of the youngster's teeth may remain coated with plaque, leading to the development of cavities.
Pediatric braces may be prescribed to help move the teeth into the desired configuration. The braces, which include an archwire, elastic bands, and brackets, place repositioning pressure on the teeth as the adjustments to the archwire are made. Since the pediatric teeth serve as placeholders for their soon-to-emerge permanent counterparts, the corrected alignment of the pediatric teeth can help ensure that the adult teeth present in a straighter pattern.
Dental sealants are often provided by pediatric dental specialists during routine appointments. The sealant application process is quick and painless and it can help protect the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth for years.
Dental sealants are thin, protective barriers that are made of plastic. The dentist paints the liquid sealant material onto the grooved chewing surfaces of the child's back teeth and allows the material to harden into place.
Because the grooves of the molars can become filled with plaque and particles of food between brushing sessions, these chewing surfaces are more susceptible to decay. The bacteria within the plaque release acids as they feed on residual carbohydrates from your child's snacks or meals. These acids dissolve the tooth enamel to cause decay.
The sealants prevent oral acids from making contact with the actual tooth material. As a result, the plastic coatings help prevent the formation of cavities.
To learn more ways that your child's dentist can help protect your youngster's teeth, schedule a consultation with a pediatric dentist in your local area.