FAQs

What is pit and fissure sealant?

Children’s teeth are especially susceptible toe tooth decay. Pit and fissure sealants can be used on children’s ‘baby teeth’ and are usually applied to back teeth to help protect the grooves and pits of these teeth, as they can be hard to clean and therefore more prone to developing cavities.

The sealant is a liquid similar in consistency to nail polish that is applied to the teeth. After a few minutes it hardens and provides a barrier against plaque and other harmful substances. We will apply sealants to the first and second permanent molars and appropriate premolars if we feel your child is at risk of developing tooth decay. Applying the sealant is a completely pain-free non-invasive procedure that takes about 5 minutes per tooth.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is found naturally in many foods and water. It is also added to the water supply of many towns and cities as it has long been recognised to help strengthen teeth and make them more resistant to decay.

Topical fluoride can be applied by Dr Alam as a gel, varnish or foam and is used to replenish fluoride in the outer layer of tooth enamel. Topical fluoride can be especially beneficial for children who are considered at a high risk of developing dental cavities due to not drinking fluoridated water, snack frequently on foods high in sugar or have a medical condition that decreases caries resistance.

Although fluoride is beneficial for teeth and bones, too much fluoride can cause permanent tooth staining, this is known as fluorosis. Ensure your children do not swallow toothpaste when brushing and you should consult with Dr Alam before giving your child any fluoride supplements.

Why baby teeth are Important?

Baby teeth play a significant role in the future oral health of your child. While baby teeth fall out naturally, it’s important this doesn’t happen prematurely. Baby teeth help guide the growth of the jawbone to ensure there is enough space for the permanent adult teeth come through in the correct position and alignment. Baby teeth also help with speech development as children learn to sound out words when they begin to talk.

Daily brushing and flossing and a healthy diet is just as important for maintaining the health of baby teeth as it is for adult teeth. The back baby molars need to last until your child is around thirteen. You should help your child with their brushing and flossing routine until they are at least eight years old, as many younger children lack the strength and dexterity to accomplish this effectively on their own. Dr Alam can give you some helpful tips on helping your child with their cleaning routine.

 

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