42% OF CHILDREN will have at least one cavity by age eleven. The main reasons are too many sugary snacks and drinks and poor oral hygiene. It might not seem like a priority to protect baby teeth from cavities if they’re just going to be replaced by adult teeth, but childhood is a crucial time to develop good oral health habits. However, there’s something more that can protect our kids’ teeth from cavities, and that’s dental sealants.
What Exactly Are Dental Sealants?
The chewing surfaces of molars have a lot of little hiding places where bacteria can grow and cause cavities. Sealants were first used in the ‘60s and have stuck around this long because they work. They get their name from the fact that they seal off the crevices in molars, reducing the risk of decay by as much as 80%.
Kids without sealants are nearly three times more likely to get cavities. Even if they’re good at brushing their teeth twice a day, they may not have the dexterity to do a thorough enough job on the chewing surfaces of their molars. With sealants, those parts of the teeth are protected.
How We Apply Sealants
Adding this protective layer to a child’s teeth is quick and easy. We can do it within minutes in a regular visit. First, we give the surfaces of your child’s teeth a nice polish and clean away any food debris, plaque, or tartar that may be there. Then, we isolate and dry each tooth to prepare for the sealant.
Next comes the bonding agent that will hold the sealant in place. We rinse that off and dry the tooth again, and all that’s left is to paint the sealant material on! With the special curing light we use, it will harden quickly. After we give everything one final check, we’ll declare it safe to chew on!
Who Can Get Sealants?
We recommend that children get sealants as soon as their permanent molars start appearing. The first set of molars usually erupt around age 6 or 7. The earlier they get sealants, the better off those teeth will be, because food and bacteria will never get the chance to settle into the crevices. But sealants aren’t only for kids! If you’d like to learn more, just ask.
Every Child’s Smile Should Have the Best Protection Possible
Each child has a unique and special smile, and we want to make sure that parents have the best tools to keep those smiles healthy as they grow. Come to us with any questions you have about dental sealants or other cavity-fighting measures.
We’re your best resource for child dental health, so make sure to use us!
Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.