Your Child’s Very First Visit
As soon as you see your child’s first baby tooth appear (usually 8-12 months), they must be seen by a dentist. This visit is not just a checkup for the child, but also to educate the young parents on how to take care of the child’s oral health.
Fluoride and Fluoride Varnish
Fluoride in water and food can help prevent cavities. But this is only effective during the development of the teeth before eruption. Once teeth have grown out, both baby teeth and adult teeth, a topical fluoride gel or foam can be applied during your child’s cleaning and checkup appointment to help strengthen their teeth.
Fluoride varnish is a sticky gel which can stay on the teeth for longer than the regular gel and foam. This option is for children who are very prone to getting cavities. It can help remineralize superficial cavities and treat dentin hypersensitivity. Fluoride varnishes are relatively new in the United States, but they have been widely used in western Europe, Canada, and the Scandinavian countries since the 1980s as a caries prevention therapy.
Together with fluoride treatment, sealants are a very good option for preventing decay. Deep grooves and pits are a natural part of the tooth’s anatomy. They are narrow open spaces which cannot be brushed clean with the toothbrush; it can easily form cavities. Sealants can seal these deep grooves so that cavity-causing bacteria may not hide in this spot. However, this is only effective if detected before it forms a cavity. Therefore your child’s timely dental checkups and treatment are highly encouraged.