According to the CDC, cavities are the most common chronic disease in childhood in the United States. While this seems daunting, the good news is that most dental issues are preventable with proper care and attention. Dental Sealants are an excellent way to protect teeth and prevent cavities. However, if you need clarification on what dental sealants are or how they are helpful, keep reading.
According to the CDC, more than half of children aged 6 to 8 have had a cavity in at least one of their baby (primary) teeth. More than half of adolescents aged 12 to 19 have had a cavity in at least one of their permanent teeth.
Cavities are very disruptive to everyday life because they can make it hard to eat and speak. If the child is preoccupied with pain it may also prevent them from learning and playing. Research suggests that children with dental problems miss more school and get lower grades than those without oral health problems.
How Can Dental Sealants Help?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating painted on the outer surfaces of the back teeth (molars). The sealant quickly bonds to the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective layer to help prevent tooth decay. Molars do most of the chewing work for our mouth, therefore, these deep grooves are a common places for bacteria and germs to fester. According to the CDC, once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.
When Should You Consider Dental Sealants?
Children should consider getting sealants as soon as their premolars come in because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves. Sealants are quick, easy, and painless. It is important to remember that cavities are permanent holes in the teeth. If left untreated they will get bigger and may lead to a more serious infection. Preventing cavities is extremely important; dental sealants are an excellent way to do just that.
Remember that prevention is always your best defense against cavities and other dental issues. Children notoriously make brushing difficult. Therefore everything should be done to protect their teeth. There is no substitute for brushing, flossing, and using a mouth rinse. However, dental sealants should be utilized as another defense mechanism to protect your child’s teeth.