Local Seals and Fluoridations
Young (newly erupted) teeth have deep grooves and fossae, which favour food retention and on account of which correct brushing is more difficult. This is the starting point of the tooth cavity.
Dental sealants are resins or cements applied in these grooves and fossae, to prevent food retention and facilitate tooth brushing. These materials release fluoride, which adds extra protection to the tooth.
The ideal moment to seal a tooth is immediately after its eruption, when it is also highly sensitive to cavities.
The procedure is simple, completely painless and not traumatising for the child. The sealant adheres chemically to the tooth and lasts for many years. It is indicated that these seals be checked by the doctor every 6 months.
Fluoride applied locally (as a paste or gel) has a cariostatic effect (remineralizes the enamel impacted by the cavity), as well as an antimicrobial effect (prevents adherence and development of the dental plaque, at the level of the tooth).
Extraction of the Milk Teeth
Milk teeth are extracted when:
- the tooth must fall out;
- the tooth suffered a severe trauma;
- the tooth is highly rotten and infected;
- an orthodontic treatment is applied (certain milk teeth are extracted, in order to facilitate the correct eruption of the permanent teeth).
When a milk tooth was extracted more than a year before the moment when it was supposed to “fall out”, it is indicated to add a space maintainer, which will ensure the normal eruption of the permanent tooth.
Treatment of the milk teeth
The myth that milk teeth do not need to be treated because they will “fall out anyway” has persisted for a long time. It is a misconception because the roots of milk teeth come into contact with the buds of permanent teeth (therefore, an infection of the milk teeth will damage the permanent teeth, as well).
The milk tooth maintains the place for the eruption of permanent teeth on the dental arcade. Premature extraction of the milk teeth will lead to the eruption of permanent teeth in abnormal positions, even their “blocking” in the bone.
To avoid complications and trauma for the child, it is indicated to talk to a dentist after the eruption of the first teeth. The treatment of milk teeth entails removing the rotten tissue and replacing it with a material that will ensure the structure, function and protection of the tooth. Prevention therapy based on food and oral hygiene, dental exam, fluoride applied locally and administered daily, and sealing, is recommended.