Fluoride treatments and dental sealants are common measures for protecting children’s teeth against destructive cavities, which affect over half of school-aged children in the US. Though children’s primary teeth, or baby teeth, are meant to fall out eventually, keeping them healthy while they remain in place could be vital to the development of healthy adult teeth. As an infection that eats away teeth, the key to preventing tooth decay is to bolster teeth’s natural defenses against it, which fluoride and dental sealants accomplish in different ways.
Protecting Tooth Enamel from Decay
Tooth enamel is the thin, semi-translucent material that covers and protects teeth, and is their primary defense against cavity-causing oral bacteria. Made almost entirely of mineral crystals, enamel is the most resilient substance that your body produces. Nevertheless, it isn’t indestructible, and acids produced by oral bacteria, or introduced to the mouth through acidic foods and beverages, can destroy enamel as it saps teeth of minerals. Once enamel is compromised, bacteria can slip past it and infect the main the dentin underneath it, which comprises the majority of your tooth’s structure.
Fluoride Strengthens Enamel
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally, and when introduced to teeth, can bond to thin layers of tooth enamel to fortify it. As children’s adult teeth develop underneath their primary set, fluoride can help them create stronger, more resilient enamel to protect their permanent smiles. Fluoride can also help strengthen the enamel of already-formed permanent teeth, and the mineral is found in most major toothpaste brands and in municipal water supplies across the country.
Dental Sealants Shield Enamel
A dental sealant describes a translucent resin that’s painted onto the tops of teeth, usually molars. The areas between the raised cusps of a molar’s chewing surface can hide hard-to-reach colonies of bacteria, increasing the risk of enamel erosion and cavity development. Dental sealants act as an additional barrier, painted over enamel, to protect your children’s teeth (or your teeth) from cavity risks.
Find Out if Sealants and Fluoride Can Help Your Child’s Smile
For a boost in preventive power, your child’s dentist might recommend dental sealants and/or fluoride treatment for you young one’s smile. To learn more, call our family dental office in Upton, MA, today at 508-529-4591. We proudly welcome patients from all surrounding communities, including, Grafton, Hopedale, Whitinsville, and more.