No one intends to get cavities, but unfortunately for many people, they are a normal part of life. Children in particular tend to be at a higher risk for cavities based on their problems with brushing and flossing their teeth. In fact, research shows that children under the age of eleven will have at least 1-2 cavities filled. By the time children grow into adults, 92% of them have already had at least one cavity. Seniors continue to have worse dental health, with an average of 3.28 decayed teeth in need of replacement. So how can dental sealants make an improvement in these statistics?
Dental Sealants to the Rescue!
The molars are notorious for being areas that are challenging to clean. Food can get trapped in those small crevices and lead to large cavities over time. A dental sealant is applied to the molar, keeping it safe from the food and bacteria that are known for causing cavities. How does the sealant work exactly? Think of a dental sealant like your car, you have the paint and then that thin protective coating that helps to keep the paint looking new and fresh as it protects it from the weather and issues that can cause it to chip and peel. A dental sealant works the same way, it’s a protective coating for the tooth, keeping it looking new and fresh! The sealants can aid in stopping cavities from forming, and give you that extra layer of protection needed to keep those molars from becoming major problems in the future.
Brushing and Flossing Prevent Tooth Decay
Dental sealants cover the surface area of a tooth, but you must still brush and floss to provide your teeth with the full level of protection against bacteria and decay. Sealants are designed to help, they are not the substitute for flossing and brushing.
Dental sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay by 80% in molars!
The Moose Dentist works with parents to help you understand how these can help to prevent tooth decay in your children. We want your kids to have healthy teeth and gums, and we recommend dental sealants as we have seen their ability to protect teeth and prevent expensive dental procedures in the future.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “school-age children without sealants have almost 3 times more 1st molar cavities than children with sealants.”
Who is Eligible for Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are recommended for children, in fact, the earliest you can get them, we recommend them. The first molars appear somewhere around the age of 6, and the second molars appear around the age of 12. Sealing these molars as soon as they break through the gums gives them the chance to fight against the bacteria that leads to tooth decay.
How long is a Dental Sealant Effective?
The procedure for dental sealants is relatively quick. You and your child will come into our office where we will dry and prepare the teeth. An acidic gel is painted on the teeth, where it almost immediately starts to form a strong bond with the tooth. After a few seconds, we rinse off the gel and dry the tooth before applying the actual sealants onto the grooves of the molar. We will use our Ultraviolet light to cure the sealant, hardening to the tooth.
On average, a dental sealant will be effective for at least 10 years! As we notice the sealants starting to wear down, we can reapply the sealant, helping to keep those teeth protected. There are some dental plans that will pay for dental sealants, contact Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry today to learn more about dental sealants and to determine if it’s time to help protect your children’s teeth!