Is there a vaccination against dental decay?
Vaccination for dental decay (dental caries) is still largely in the research stage, but a Pediatric Dentist has in his/her armamentarium two very potent weapons for the prevention of dental decay. They are, what are commonly known as “dental sealants” and “fluoride treatment”. These two treatments, in addition to proper brushing and a balanced diet, have the potential to eliminate dental decay completely.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental Sealants, technically known as “Pit & Fissure Sealants”, are thin/fluid filling materials which are flown over the back teeth (molars) to prevent food from accumulating on the teeth. Please note that, no drilling of the tooth is involved in the placement of a sealant.
What is Fluoride treatment?
Fluoride is available in small amounts in your toothpaste and is an important cavity fighting mechanism. In addition, the Pediatric Dentists have in their repertoire a professionally applied fluoride called as “Fluoride Varnish”. Research has proved beyond doubt the ability of these professionally applied fluorides in preventing cavities. Professionally applied fluoride treatment involves, painting the fluoride varnish onto all the teeth surfaces. This varnish forms a protective layer over the teeth and has a high concentration of fluoride incorporated in them which make the teeth resistant to the acids produced by the microorganisms.
A new cavity fighting liquid called as Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is now become very popular. But please be informed, SDF is recommended for the treatment of dental decay which is already advanced and not for the prevention of decay.