A sealant is a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
Silver Diamine Fluoride or SDF
Use of silver diamine fluoride in pediatric dentistry has some value for our very young patients with untreated decay, or patients who cannot tolerate treatment. SDF is a colorless liquid containing both silver and fluoride ions. When placed on areas of a tooth that have decay, it arrests or stops the cavity from growing. Any decayed area that the SDF grabs on to turns black. The tooth will require re-application of the SDF in 1-3 months and it will need to be checked over time to make sure the cavity is still arrested. More often than not, the tooth will require restorative treatment (filling or crown) at a later date. Your dentist will determine the right timing for the application of SDF, and the restoration.
If a baby tooth requires extraction, it may require a space maintenance appliance to hold the space for the growing permanent tooth underneath. This is so the surrounding teeth do not move into the empty space where the baby tooth once was. Your child still may need orthodontic treatment in the future due to natural crowding or jaw misalignment.
When a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child’s smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.
Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe.
Ask your pediatric dentist about custom and store-bought mouth protectors.