Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Children’s Day Special

Smile is Infectious“, especially when given by a child. A child’s smile can instantly lighten up our mood and make us smile too. This Children’s Day, let us get acquainted with few steps that we can take to preserve their innocent smiles.

Parents play important role in preventing cavities in children by observing healthy dietary habits as well as maintaining proper oral hygiene for their children.

In addition to this home care, the dentist can perform certain procedures in the dental clinic that are further very effective in prevention of cavities. These are:

  1. Fluoride application
  2. Pit & fissure sealant

1. Fluoride Application

#How does it prevent cavities?

Fluoride is absorbed on the tooth surface and makes the tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay.

#How is it done?

The procedure of fluoride application is very simple. Fluoride is available in a paste form (called as the fluoride varnish).

  • Step 1: The dentist makes tooth surfaces dry with cotton and air flow.
  • Step 2: Fluoride paste is applied to all the teeth with a small brush.

Application of fluoride paste to all teeth is a job of 5 10 minutes.

The dual protection of Fluoride: Fluoride application treatment should be repeated every 6 months. It provides a long term benefit as the paste contains high concentration of fluoride. This is in addition to the protection provided through daily use of fluoridated toothpaste which contains low concentration of fluoride.

2. Pit & Fissure Sealant

#How does it prevent cavities?

In many children, the chewing surfaces of the newly erupted milk teeth as well as permanent teeth are quite rough or irregular. These irregularities are called as “grooves”, pits and fissures.

The pits and fissures tend to entrap food particles and bacteria which are difficult to clean even with the finest toothbrush bristles.

The action of bacteria on entrapped food particles in these pits and fissures can thus start the decay which can progress to a large cavity.

As the name suggests, the pit & fissure sealant is a paste-like material that seals these irregularities to make the chewing surfaces of molars smooth, thus preventing the food entrapment and hence the cavity formation.

#How is it done?

Pit & fissure sealant application is also a very simple procedure. The material used is a paste that hardens once placed as sealant.

  • Step 1: The tooth surface is cleaned and dried with cotton and air flow.
  • Step 2: Sealant paste is filled in pits and fissures. This procedure takes 10-15 minutes for each tooth.

The dual protection of Pit & Fissure Sealant: The sealant material not only blocks the pits and fissures to make the rough tooth surface smooth, but it also contains fluoride that gives added protection against cavity formation.

This article was originally published on Practo Health Feed by Dr. Sourabh Sunil Shah, Dentist

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