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What is a dental sealant and why does my child need it?

Dental sealants protect teeth from decay by bonding to the teeth and filling in any weak areas (pits or grooves) that may be susceptible to plaque build up and decay. If you child is a candidate for this procedure, combined with good oral hygiene and regular checkup, sealants can be 100% effective against tooth decay.

How can I prevent “baby bottle” tooth decay?

Begin by cleaning the baby’s mouth after every breast or bottle feeding. Do this by wiping the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad. This removes plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) and residual food that can harm erupting teeth. As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, tooth decay can occur. Therefore, when your child’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and water. Brush the teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Be sure they spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water. (Ask your child’s dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before age two.)

Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed. Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles; avoid putting sugary beverages such as juice or soda in bottles. It’s also important that caregivers take care of their own oral hygiene and avoid sharing saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers before giving them to babies.

(From the ADA)