Did you know that early childhood cavities (ECC) are the most common chronic pediatric disease? It may be hard to believe, but tooth decay negatively impacts five times more children than asthma, four times more than early-childhood obesity, and 20 times more than childhood diabetes.
Tooth decay isn’t just an issue for school-age kids. ECC can begin as early as six months of age and cause significant pain for your child. In fact, childhood dental problems are so widespread that the American Dental Association (ADA) has named February National Children’s Dental Health Month.
At Modern Age Dentistry with offices in West Hills, Los Angeles, and Ojai, California, Ali Saeghi, DDS, and our entire care team is committed to helping families in Southern California keep their kids’ teeth healthy. Our full line of family dental services will keep your kids smiling confidently for years to come.
Read on to learn how three essential preventive dental treatments — fluoride treatments, sealants, and regular professional dental exams and cleanings — can make a long-term difference in your child’s oral health!
1. Fluoride treatments
Even if you’re already using fluoride toothpaste with your child, it may not be enough to protect your child’s teeth. Every day, teeth lose some of their enamel coating. The mineral, fluoride, helps strengthen enamel, and it can even reverse early damage to teeth. Fluoride is so important to the health of your teeth that it’s often added to municipal water supplies.
But fluoride toothpaste and tap water alone may not be enough to ward off early childhood cavities. Numerous studies demonstrate the significant role fluoride treatments from the dentist play in preventing damaging tooth decay. And early fluoride treatments can help keep permanent teeth safe as well.
If your tap water isn’t fluoridated or if your child is at high risk for developing tooth decay due to lifestyle or health factors, fluoride treatments are especially important. Dr. Saeghi welcomes the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about this safe and effective treatment.
Sealants are thin coatings of plastic applied by Dr. Saeghi to fill in the difficult-to-reach nooks and grooves of your child’s back molars, where more than 90% of cavities occur. This important treatment helps prevent cavities from forming, ensuring better overall oral health for years to come. Sealants are a pain-free treatment, and they take only minutes to apply.
According to the CDC, sealants are effective in preventing more than 80% of cavities. Dr. Saeghi can apply sealants early, usually by age 6 when molars erupt. He can also apply sealants to their adult molars once the baby molars fall out.
3. Regular professional exams and cleanings
Even though it’s easy to think your baby or young child doesn’t need regular dental exams and cleanings because they only have a few teeth, scheduling and keeping dentist appointments for your child is one of the most important preventive steps you can take to help ensure your child’s optimal oral health.
The American Dental Association recommends regular dental exams and cleanings for all children by their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts. These important appointments allow Dr. Saeghi the opportunity to evaluate your child’s dental health and provide important preventive treatments, like sealants and fluoride.
What’s more? When your child regularly sees a dentist when no major problems exist, it keeps the fear or anxiety often associated with dentists at bay. The result? A healthy lifelong relationship with dentistry and lasting, improved oral health.
It’s never too early to practice excellent oral care
The earlier your child begins getting regular dental exams and practicing excellent oral care, the healthier their teeth and gums will be for life. These preventive treatments and practices help stop decay before it begins, and children with healthy mouths learn to eat, speak, and smile with ease and confidence.
If you’re ready to learn more about preventive dental treatment for your child or to schedule an exam, the friendly team at Modern Age Dentistry is happy to help. Contact the Southern California office most convenient for you or book an appointment online now!