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really is. If a primary tooth is lost before its normal lifespan, several problems can arise. With non-vital pulp, your dentist will probably recommend a traditional root canal procedure. All of the pulp tissue will be removed from inside the crown and the roots, and the pulp chamber and root canals will then be cleaned, disinfected, shaped, and filled. Finally, because the treated tooth will be more fragile, a crown will be used to protect the tooth from further damage. But we’re not going to talk about any of these important topics today. Instead of looking at how a guard protects your child, today we’re going to look at how you can help children protect their mouthguards. Sealants are invisible, safe coatings which protect molars by preventing food and bacteria from getting trapped in their uneven surfaces. The top of the molar is first treated with an etching solution to allow the sealant to bond tightly to the tooth, a thin coat of sealant is painted on, and then it’s hardened under a curing light. That’s all there is to it. Plaque bacteria use the sugars in our food to make acids. These acids break down the mineral strength of tooth enamel and eventually lead to cavities. And because pits and fissures are great hiding places for bacteria and food particles , molars are even more at risk for cavities. Limiting sugary, sticky foods like sweet treats and simple carbs helps reduce that risk. The reason molars are so useful—and more likely to develop cavities—is because of their shape. Unlike our front teeth, which are used to bite through foods, molars are used to grind and chew. That’s why they are so much larger, with a flat surface on top. Well, not exactly flat. Most often, bad breath is simply a sign that your child needs a little help developing proper brushing and flossing habits. If you think an app might make dental care not only more efficient, but more enjoyable for your child, talk to Dr. Eduardo Perez! We might have some suggestions that will be just right for your family. We set exposure times based on each child’s size and age, using the fastest film or digital image receptors. And because we are always concerned about the safety of our patients, dental associations around the world, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association, are Image Gently Alliance members.