Dental Sealants vs. Cavities

smiling kid brushing teethProtecting your children’s teeth from trouble, like cavities, is similar to protecting your own teeth. Brushing and flossing them every day helps remove the bacteria responsible for cavities, and attending a checkup every six months (at least) ensures that your smile stays healthy. Like your teeth, Dr. Stewart can tell when your children’s teeth are especially in danger, and has the tools necessary to strengthen them against cavities that could irreversibly damage them.

Look Out for Cavities

A cavity, another name for tooth decay, is an infection that slowly eats away at your tooth’s main structure, called dentin. To reach dentin, bacteria have to bypass the enamel that surrounds and protects it. When you eat, some microbes convert the sugar in your food or beverage into acid that attacks enamel. Frequent snacking and infrequent hygiene create ideal conditions for bacterial acid to compromise enamel, eroding it until holes develop that allow bacteria through. Not long afterwards, a cavity will develop from the infection if it isn’t treated quickly.

What is a Sealant?

Dental sealants are exactly what they sound like; they’re small plastic seals that are spread over the chewing surfaces of teeth, usually molars, to protect them from bacteria and acid. The resin is applied in liquid form so that it molds into the grooves between the tooth’s cusps. Once hardened, the plastic sealant can withstand the normal pressures of biting, chewing, and brushing teeth.

Other Ways to Fight Cavities

Good hygiene and protective measures, like dental sealants and fluoride applications, go a long way to prevent the formation of cavities, but they aren’t a guarantee that tooth decay won’t develop. If Dr. Stewart notices a cavity during your child’s checkup, then he’ll consult with you and your child to determine the best method for treating it. If it’s a primary tooth (or baby tooth), then the cavity may compromise the permanent tooth underneath if not treated.

About Your Livonia Children’s Dentist:

As a highly experienced children’s dentist, Dr. Stewart has helped many young patients prepare for a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.