Mary Gregory D.D.S. Family Dentistry offers premiere preventive services. Of course, staving off dental problems starts early. Parents provide their children's first prophylactic care at home when they teach proper brushing and flossing. For Dr. Gregory's part, she supplies the in-office exams and cleanings that spot problems early and remove harmful tartar and plaque. Additionally, your Arlington, VA, dentist often advises children receive dental sealants, plastic coatings that shield molars from decay.
The problem of tooth decay
The National Children's Oral Health Foundation says that 40 percent of children have tooth decay by the time they are old enough for kindergarten. It's a scary statistic, but what can parents do besides brushing, flossing, offering a healthy diet and getting their kids their Arlington, VA, dentist every six months?
Well, don't worry. Dr. Gregory and her staff are experts in pediatric dentistry. They use the gentlest, but most thorough, of diagnostics and prophylactic cleanings to keep young teeth and gums bright and shining.
You see, decay starts when oral bacteria multiply in the plaque and tartar on and between teeth. This bacteria, secretes powerful acids that literally eat away at tooth enamel, causing holes we call cavities.
At-home oral hygiene and in-office cleanings combat plaque, tartar and those destructive bacteria, but most children (and some adults) benefit from a little extra help. That's where plastic sealants come into play.
What are plastic sealants?
Plastic sealants are thin coatings painted or dripped onto the deeply grooved chewing surfaces of molars. Most children receive molars between the ages of six and twelve, and because of their position and craggy structure, these teeth trap more food residues, develop more plaque and tartar and then, tend to decay.
The American Dental Association says that plastic sealants definitely help prevent cavities in children. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control agrees, stating that youngsters without sealants on their back teeth have three times the amount of decay than youngsters who have had their teeth protected.
So how do sealants work? Dr. Gregory cleans and dries the molars and applies a mild etching liquid. This liquid prepares the teeth so the sealant bonds well to them. Then, she paints on the plastic sealant, allowing it to cover the deep grooves. Next, comes a quick hardening with a blue ultraviolet light.
The whole treatment takes just a few minutes per tooth and lasts several years.
Find out more
The next time you bring the children to Mary Gregory D.D.S. Family Dentistry in Arlington, VA, ask the doctor about plastic sealants. After all, they are another effective weapon in the fight against tooth decay. Call for your routine appointments today: (703) 527-6495.