Did you know that dental caries (cavities) are classified as an infectious disease by the Center for Disease Control? This is because cavities are caused by a particular strain of bacteria that is transmitted between people orally. In fact, the most common way this bacteria is transmitted is from mother to child during infancy. Because tooth decay is extremely common, our pediatric dentist offers preventive dental services that protect teeth from tooth decay.
Molars: The Teeth Most Susceptible to Decay
The teeth located at the back of the mouth (molars) are more vulnerable to cavities than other types of teeth. This is mostly because children often have difficulty properly cleaning their back teeth. An additional reason for molars being susceptible to decay is that molars have pits and grooves, especially on baby teeth. These small fissures on molars are a habitable place for bacteria to collect and colonize. When cavity-causing bacteria feed on starches and sugars in the mouth, they replicate and release acid as a by-product. This process eventually wears tiny cracks in tooth enamel, the protective coating that surrounds teeth, and leads to tooth decay. Untreated cavities can affect your child’s everyday life. Pain from toothaches can hinder a child’s ability to focus in school and even negatively affect speech patterns.
Sealants Can Prevent Cavities before They Form
Because our pediatric dentist focuses on preventive dental services to reduce the incidence of tooth decay among children, our practice offers scientifically proven services that help protect teeth. For example, dental sealants are made from bacteria-resistant and biocompatible plastic that is applied in liquid form to the back teeth in a very thin layer. The material is later hardened with a dental light. Dental sealants fill in the fissures and grooves on molars to help keep difficult-to-reach teeth clean and strong.
In addition to sealants, we offer fluoride treatments and thorough professional cleanings to help our patients maintain healthy smiles. To reserve an appointment with our pediatric dentist for checkups and cleanings, contact our family-friendly practice at (972) 218-0078 today.