The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that school-age children without sealants have nearly three times more cavities than children with sealants. In molars, which are the back, chewing teeth, sealants can reduce the risk of decay by almost 80%.
Dental sealants are thin, smooth protective coatings that are applied to teeth, covering uneven surfaces and helping to prevent cavities from forming. Sealants are not a replacement for brushing or flossing, but they do provide an extra barrier from destructive bacteria.
Children’s first molar appear at about 6 years of age, and the second molars at about 12. When these teeth are sealed as soon as they appear, it gives them the very best opportunity to remain cavity-free. However, sealants can be placed over early decay and they may prevent even more damage to the tooth. Because sealants are tooth colored, the dentist is able to keep an eye on the area, ensuring that it remains stable.
Best of all, applying sealants is safe, quick and pain-free. The dentist simply cleans and dries the teeth before applying an acidic gel to roughen the surface so the sealant will adhere better. After the sealant is applied, a blue light is used to harden it. These sealants typically last for a number of years before they need to be reapplied, and the dentist can advise during routine exams when sealants should be replaced.
Sealants help protect teeth from the permanent damage that can result from decay, and can save children from the necessity of having teeth filled. They are a great option for saving time, money and possibly future discomfort for your children.
If would like more information about how dental sealants can help to protect your child’s smile, Dr. Heidi Finkelstein and her caring staff at My Plantation Dentist can help. To schedule your appointment, please contact us today at 954-584-1030.