The Health of Your Children’s Teeth is Important to Us
During the early stages of tooth development, extra care must be taken to prevent cavities and decay. Dr. Jessica Johnson offers exams and cleanings suited for children, as well as dental sealants and fluoride treatments that offer additional protection against cavities.
A member of our team will take digital X-rays of your child’s teeth, and Dr. Johnson will review the results on her chairside monitor. Next, she will perform a visual exam. After the exam concludes, your child will receive a cleaning that is modified to their individual stage of development. We will also review proper brushing and flossing methods with your child.
Since children can’t always be relied upon to stick to their at-home oral health care regimen, and their small hands may not be able to brush thoroughly, fluoride treatments and dental sealants are a recommended “insurance policy” against tooth decay.
When your child receives his or her first permanent molars (usually around age 6), it is time to bring them in for dental sealants. A plastic coating is applied to the grooves of teeth where plaque and food debris love to hide, which leads to the development of cavities. The application of the sealant (which is a bis-GMA resin, much like the material used for white fillings) is like applying nail polish onto a nail. Thus, the procedure is extremely non-invasive and does not cause any pain. Once the sealant dries, it lasts for about 5 to 7 years.
Tooth enamel is made up of a modified form of hydroxyapatite, which is comprised of a calcium and phosphate compound. This compound is very susceptible to attacks from the acids formed by the plaque bacteria found in the mouth. These attacks are known as demineralization. In order to replace the OH- ion lost during the attacks, fluoride, calcium, and phosphate must be introduced in a process known as remineralization.
Although your child receives fluoride from tap water, toothpaste, and certain foods, we recommend that the extra measure of a fluoride treatment be taken. The added fluoride can help maintain the constant balance between demineralization and remineralization, thus staving off tooth decay. Children under the age of six will especially benefit from this treatment, as fluoride affects permanent teeth that have yet to emerge, fortifying and strengthening them to be resistant to decay when they do arrive.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jessica Johnson at Valley Ridge Family Dental, contact our office at (515) 223-9764. We serve West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Urbandale, and the surrounding communities.