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Sealants, Regular Cleanings, and Fluoride Treatments: Learn How We Keep Your Kids' Teeth Healthy

Your kids may be busy making Valentine’s cards for their classmates, but with all of the chocolate and candy the holiday brings, you might be busy worrying about their oral health. If so, you’re not alone. Early childhood cavities (ECC) is the most common chronic pediatric disease, affecting more than 300,000 kids each year. 

In fact, early childhood dental problems are so troublesome that the American Dental Association (ADA) has named February National Children’s Dental Health Month to promote better oral care for kids. And at Legacy Dental Care in Ballwin, Missouri, we want to help. 

Amanda Darling, DDS, and our entire care team are dedicated to helping keep your kids’ teeth healthy with our full line of dental services. Read on to learn how three simple preventive steps — sealants, regular cleanings, and fluoride treatments — can make a lifelong difference in your kids’ oral health. 

1. Sealants

Did you know that over 90% of cavities occur in the back molars? Sealants, thin coatings of plastic, fill in the hard-to-reach nooks, crannies, and grooves of these back teeth, helping to stop cavities from forming. Having sealants applied is quick and easy, and your child won’t feel any discomfort. 

Dr. Darling can apply sealants as soon as your child’s molars erupt, usually by age 6. Once their baby molars fall out, Dr. Darling can apply the protective sealant coating to their adult molars as well. According to research from the CDC, these sealants are effective in stopping more than 80% of cavity development, and most insurance plans cover sealants as part of preventive care. 

2. Regular cleanings

It’s easy to overlook regular dental cleanings when your baby is young and only has a few teeth. But regular cleanings are one of the most important steps you can take to help ensure your child’s optimal oral health. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends all children begin regular dental cleanings by their first birthday

Regular cleanings give Dr. Darling a chance to evaluate your child’s dental health and administer important health-promoting treatments, like sealants and fluoride. In addition, when kids routinely see a dentist, before major problems arise, it helps prevent the fear or anxiety often associated with trips to the dentist’s office. The result? A better lifelong relationship with this important care provider and improved overall oral health.

3. Fluoride treatments

You may already be using fluoride toothpaste with your child, as recommended by both the ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This is important because every day, your child’s teeth lose some of the protective enamel that coats them. Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, strengthens enamel and even reverses early damage, and is often added to municipal water supplies. 

But fluoride toothpaste and tap water alone are rarely enough to make a dent in cavity prevention. Whether or not your local water supply has sufficient levels of fluoride, studies show that fluoride treatments play a significant role in preventing damaging tooth decay. 

For children with non-fluoride tap water and with other elevated risk factors, fluoride treatments are especially important. Dr. Darling is happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about this safe and effective treatment.   

If you’re ready to learn more about how we keep your child’s teeth healthy, or to schedule an exam for your child, the friendly team at Legacy Dental Care is happy to help. Contact our Ballwin office at 636-203-7519 and schedule a consultation today! 

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