Children have a very high risk of developing cavities because their diets are often high in sugar and it can be difficult to make sure they are brushing properly every day. With fluoride treatments, minor damage to the teeth can be repaired and cavities can be prevented.
Fluoride treatments are quick and easy. Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will simply apply a fluoride solution to your child’s teeth after their cleaning, then rinse it away after a few minutes. The high concentration of fluoride in this gel will encourage tooth remineralization, which strengthens the teeth and prevents cavities.
Dental sealants are another option if your child is cavity-prone. They consist of a clear, liquid dental resin that is applied to your child’s rear teeth. This resin is hardened with UV light and the result is a strong, transparent barrier that covers your child’s enamel and prevents direct contact with food, oral bacteria, and acid. This prevents cavities from forming and with proper care, dental sealants can last up to 10 years.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an alternative to a stainless steel crown or filling for a decayed baby tooth. It uses a mixture of silver, fluoride, water, and ammonia to prevent cavities from spreading further and to keep your child’s baby tooth healthy until it falls out naturally as their adult teeth come in.
SDF is usually only used for baby teeth because after treatment, the treated teeth will be stained a dark color. This is not desirable for permanent teeth, but since baby teeth will eventually fall out naturally, SDF is ideal for treating cavities in baby teeth.
Stainless steel crowns are usually recommended to treat larger cavities in baby teeth. First, your child’s mouth will be numbed. Any decayed or damaged material will be removed and the area will be disinfected. Once this process is complete, Dr. Carlson or Dr. Cade will cement a prefabricated, tooth-shaped crown to the tooth. This crown will protect and cover up the baby tooth until it falls out naturally.