People often think of dental medicine as a curative form of medicine. In other words, you see the dentist when you already have a problem, and the dentist fixes it. This is a big part of most dentists' jobs, but dentists also provide preventative care — especially for kids. Here are two preventative care procedures a pediatric dentist may recommend to reduce your child's risk of cavities, decay, gum disease, and other problems as they grow up.


One of the most common places for people, and especially kids, to develop cavities is in the back molars. These molars have deep grooves in the chewing surfaces. Food gets stuck in these grooves and starts to decay, which means there are a lot of bacteria around to then start breaking down the tooth enamel and forming a cavity. Kids are usually still learning to brush their teeth well when they get these back molars, which makes cavities even more likely.

A pediatric dentist can apply what's known as a sealant to each back molar. The sealant starts as a liquid that the dentist paints into the grooves on the molar, and then the liquid hardens into a plastic substance. Sealants should stay in place for a few years, giving kids time to improve their brushing habits before they get cavities in these teeth.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a mineral that your body needs to build strong tooth enamel. It's especially important for kids as their teeth are developing. Many kids do not get enough fluoride. Even though it is added to many municipal water supplies, many kids these days drink a lot of bottled water, which does not contain fluoride. 

A pediatric dentist can give your child what is known as a fluoride treatment. They'll either paint the fluoride onto the teeth and let it sit for a few minutes, or they will have your child bite into a special tray that holds a fluoride solution. This short-term exposure to high concentrations of fluoride helps strengthen the tooth enamel. This will reduce your child's risk of cavities and decay as they continue to grow. Most kids only need a few fluoride treatments spaced 6 to 12 months apart.

To learn more about these two preventative dental care treatments for kids, visit a site like or contact a pediatric dentist. It's always a good idea to prevent problems before they start, and these treatments are a dentist's way of doing just that.