Archive for May, 2012

Ask the Dentist: Why Dental Sealants Rock

Photo: KRO-Media

When your child is somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12, her dentist will want to apply a dental sealant to her back teeth. “Is this necessary?” you may ask. The safe plastic coating is not a requirement, but there are many reasons to give sealants a giant seal of approval. Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Dr. MyLinh Ngo explains.

“Research involving large population samples has shown a 70% reduction in cavities through sealant placement,” Dr. Ngo says. “Sealants act as a physical barrier that blocks plaque from accumulating in hard-to-clean grooves and pits of molar teeth.”

Covered by most dental policies, sealants take just a few minutes to apply, and the process is completely painless. After the teeth are prepped with a mild acid for retention, followed by air drying, the liquid sealant is simply painted on then hardened with a high-intensity light. “This procedure is one of the simplest methods to prevent cavities,” Dr. Ngo says. (more…)

May 24, 2012 at 4:24 am 3 comments

Do Baby Teeth Need Filling?

Baby teeth aren’t permanent, and this is many a parent’s excuse for dismissing everything from early tooth brushing to visiting the dentist before the age of 5. But as we covered in “The Big Role of Baby Teeth,” these temporary molars and incisors are important space markers for permanent teeth to come. Treat them well and the little ones’ adult teeth are more likely to come in straight and cavity-free.

Unfortunately, the chances of getting through primary teeth without cavities are slim. In a five-year National Health and Nutrition Study, nearly half of children ages 2 to 11 had dental caries. Numerous reports suggest that the trend has only increased since, with sugary diets, soda consumption, and prolonged bottle feeding among the reasons.

So what happens when a baby tooth gets a cavity? Are fillings necessary, especially if the cavity is pain-free? Bear in mind that tooth decay is an infection – allow it to continue and your youngster may require more serious treatment in addition to a filling. Baby teeth will eventually fall out, but it’s important to give them the dental care they need while they’re still in place. This includes fillings. (more…)

May 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm 5 comments


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