Fanning Orthodontics - Dental Blog

Combat Pediatric Tooth Decay

Fight Against Tooth Decay with Preventive Pediatric Dental Treatments.

Cavities are the most common chronic pediatric disease. Tooth decay doesn’t have to be inevitable. Preventive pediatric dental treatments combined with excellent oral hygiene can help your child maintain a healthy, cavity-free smile!

Did You Know?

  • 20% of children between ages 5-11 have at least one untreated cavity
  • 90% of people will have one or more cavities in their lifetime
  • Fluoride treatments can prevent ⅓ of cavities on primary teeth
  • Sealants reduce the risk of cavities on the molars by 80%

Dental Sealants

If you run your tongue over the top of your molars, you will notice that they have many grooves and depressions. Food particles can get stuck in these crevices and cause tooth decay if not cleaned thoroughly. Little hands sometimes have a difficult time properly cleaning all these tiny nooks and crannies with their toothbrush.

The risk of developing cavities on the molars is reduced by 80% when a child has sealants. Sealants are thin, protective coatings placed over the molars, temporarily filling in the grooves on the molars. This treatment prevents food particles from hiding in the molars and makes it easier for children to brush their teeth adequately.  

Receiving sealants is quick and painless. No numbing is even needed! The dentist starts by cleaning and prepping the tooth. Then they will apply the sealants onto the molars and use a blue light to harden them. Sealants last for several years and can be reapplied as needed.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens enamel and prevents and can even reverse tooth decay. Your child may have fluoride in their toothpaste, or it may be present in your tap water. However, fluoride treatments from the dentist provide extra protection against cavities.

These treatments are delivered through a concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish. Typically, fluoride treatments can be administered at your child’s routine dental cleaning appointments.

Teeth Cleanings

Most children should receive a professional dental cleaning twice a year to maintain optimal oral health. During your child’s teeth cleanings, their hygienist will remove harmful plaque and tartar to prevent tooth decay. Plaque develops when mouth bacteria mix with saliva and food, creating a soft, sticky film on the tooth's surface. Typically, plaque gets removed with proper brushing and flossing techniques. However, when plaque gets left on the teeth for several days, it hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove without help from a dental hygienist.

At your child’s teeth cleaning, their hygienist will gently scrape off plaque and tartar, thoroughly clean their teeth, and polish them to remove stains. Teeth cleanings are also a great opportunity for your kid's hygienist to coach them on proper brushing and flossing techniques to ensure their smile stays sparkling clean in between cleanings.

Dental Examinations

Routine dental exams help us ensure that your child’s smile is healthy and properly developing. Their exam may consist of x-rays and a visual exam of their teeth. The dentists will identify any decay or abnormalities and create a plan to fix any problems that are present. When dental issues are caught early, the treatment is generally less invasive and more affordable.  

Dental care in childhood sets the tone for how your child will value their dental health for the rest of their life. Put your children on the path for a lifetime of healthy smiles by setting up a positive relationship with dentistry and prevent childhood tooth decay.

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