Cavities are very common, especially in children. As many as 20% of children ages 5-11 have at least one untreated cavity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When it comes to your child’s oral health, prevention is often the best defense against tooth decay and other dental problems.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics in Falls Church, Virginia, Nathalie Phaeton, DDS, Ki Youn Kil, DDS, and our team offer a range of pediatric dentistry services and orthodontic treatments for children and adults. In this blog, we discuss three noninvasive treatments that can help prevent cavities or keep them from getting worse.
Noninvasive treatments that can fight against tooth decay
When it comes to fighting cavities, there are treatments that can help prevent them altogether or keep them from getting worse. Here are three of them:
1. Silver diamine fluoride
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a liquid treatment that’s made from a combination of silver, fluoride, and ammonia. It’s a minimally invasive topical treatment that can help prevent a cavity from progressing. The silver ions in SDF can kill the bacteria causing the decay, and the fluoride ions can remineralize the tooth structure and make it more resistant to further decay.
Silver diamine fluoride is safe and doesn’t require drilling or anesthesia. While SDF isn’t a permanent solution to treat cavities, and it doesn’t remove the decayed tissue, it can provide relief from tooth sensitivity and prevent further decay.
2. Dental sealants
Dental sealants are liquid treatments that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars to help prevent cavities. They are most commonly used on molars and premolars, which have deep grooves that can be difficult to clean.
The sealants form a protective barrier that helps prevent the development of tooth decay by sealing the pits and fissures on the surfaces of the teeth, where bacteria and food particles can accumulate and lead to decay.
The sealants cover the tooth’s surface to the point where the surface becomes flat, which can make it easier for children and teenagers to effectively brush their teeth. The application process is quick and involves cleaning the tooth’s surface and applying the sealant. The sealant is then hardened with a light.
3. Routine dental cleanings
Dental exams and cleanings are the best preventive tools available in the fight against cavities and other oral health problems. In addition to clearing away bacteria and plaque buildup, regular checkups and cleanings can help your child’s dental provider detect problems early, when problems are usually easier to treat.
For more information about cavity prevention and treatment, call 703-483-9933 or book an appointment online with Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today.