Tooth Decay

As permanent teeth come in, talk to your dentist about having dental sealants applied to protect teeth from decay. A dental sealant is a clear material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay most often occurs. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting teeth from bacteria and the acid that attacks enamel.

Fluoride is one of the most effective agents for preventing tooth decay. Ask the dentist if your child is getting the proper amount of fluoride. The best way for your child to receive fluoride's protection is by drinking water containing the right amount of the mineral. Children who from birth drink water containing fluoride on average have up to 50 percent fewer cavities. Your dentist can provide fluoride supplements for your children if you live in a community that does not have optimally fluoridated drinking water. Your dentist may also recommend office fluoride treatments.

Active children require proper mouth protection to prevent injuries to the face, tongue and lips, injuries that could include broken or knocked out teeth and even jaw fractures. Ask your dentist for advice on the proper mouth guard for your child, whether he or she is playing a contact sport like football or just having fun bike riding or inline skating. If an accident does happen, call the dentist as soon as possible.

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