If you are a parent who worries about the health of your child's teeth, then you should know that young children are prone to the formation of cavities. In fact, around 4 million preschoolers have some form of dental decay. Dental decay is prominent along the molars, where toothbrushes do not always reach. If you want to prevent cavities from forming in the molars in your child's mouth, then follow the tips below.
Opt For Sealants
Cavities form in the teeth when bacteria break down sugars and create an acidic chemical in the mouth. The acidic byproduct, called lactic acid, is typically carried away by the saliva. Some of the acids can get into the tiny crevices of the molars though, before they are rinsed away. The acids eat away at the enamel and break down the minerals in the hard, outer tooth coating. A deeper crevice then forms, collects acids, and more of the tooth is eaten away. This happens until a significant amount of the enamel is broken down and a cavity forms.
Since lactic acid collects in small tooth crevices, smoothing out the surfaces of the molars can prevent cavities from forming. The easiest way to do this is with a dental sealant. A dental sealer or sealant is created by your dentist by placing and curing a thin plastic coating over the chewing surfaces of the molars. The plastic essentially fills in the molar crevices and creates a protective barrier over the crowns.
Your child's teeth must be prepared before sealants are added. The molars are cleaned and covered in an acid solution that etches the biting edge. The etching helps to keep the sealer in place so it does not wear away. The liquid plastic sealer is then spread over the tooth and a UV light is used to cure it. A drill is then used to smooth out the surface so your child can bite down easily.
If you do decide to have sealants placed on your child's teeth, then make sure the sealers are checked every time your son or daughter sees the dentist for a check up. Sealers can last for 10 years. However, they can wear down if your child grinds their teeth.
Buy Molar Cleaning Products
It can be difficult for your child to fit an angled head on the tip of his or her toothbrush way into the back of the mouth to clean the molars. If you think your child may be missing the back teeth when brushing, then cavities are likely to form. To help with the cleaning of the teeth, purchase a special toothbrush to clean the molars after the rest of the teeth are brushed. The best toothbrush for molar cleaning is called a tuft brush. This tool has a head with a round brush made up of nylon bristles that are tightly packed together. The tuft, or brush head, is shorter and narrower than a traditional toothbrush. This makes it easy to reach into the back of the mouth so the molars can be cleaned.
You should also purchase a toothpaste for your child that helps to keep cavities at bay. A remineralizing toothpaste is a good idea. Remineralizing toothpastes help to deposit calcium and other minerals into the teeth that have been lost due to acid attacks. This helps to keep crevices across the molars from becoming deep and forming decay. Toothpastes that contain calcium phosphate and fluoride are a good choice.
If you want to protect your child from developing cavities in the deep grooves of the molars, then there are a variety of things that you can do. Speak with a dentist at an office like Smile Builders - Robyn Lesser DMD about other tips and tricks that will help to reduce decay in your child's mouth.