Consider a molar. Those blocky teeth have rough surfaces with a handy little divot just perfect for catching food and harboring bacteria which grow into cavities. Brushing your teeth every day, flossing, and regular dental visits are very important but consistent and thorough oral care goes beyond a bright white smile.
Caring for your teeth and gums has a direct and positive impact on overall health and can actually add years to your life, and sealants are a proven option with excellent results.
What better time to instill that mantra than the years of a young child? Like most things in life, starting when we’re young exposes us to a particular task and provides the discipline needed to make it part of our lives and excel.
Excel at brushing teeth? No question about it; there’s a big difference between a quick once-over with a little splotch of toothpaste on a worn out toothbrush and a thorough clean and floss twice a day. Children’s teeth are especially susceptible to the effects of bad oral care habits but on the bright side, their young teeth also reap the rewards of sensible choices such as dental sealants to fight cavities.
How Do Sealants Work?
Dental sealant is like a coat of armor plating, warding off attacks from renegade bacteria living in our mouths. That nasty bacteria forms acids that eat away at our teeth and creates cavities. The sealant, however, keeps errant food particles away and prevents cavities from taking hold.
Made from a very thin plastic, the sealant is applied to chewing surfaces of molars and has been shown to reduce potential tooth decay by up to 80 percent. In addition to that excellent data, here are more reasons to opt in with sealant protection.
6 Reasons Why Sealants Are a Smart Choice for Your Kids
- In our opinion, sealants are the most effective cavity-prevention procedure available for children today. Combined with disciplined brushing, flossing, and fluoride rinse, you can equip your child for a valiant defense against cavities and other oral issues.
- The non-invasive nature of sealant application is another of their main attractions. No drilling or injections are required; the procedure only involves a properly prepared tooth to be “painted” with sealant and then cured.
- Visiting the dentist is typically not something most children look forward to but after a sealant procedure, they won’t even notice a difference. It will seem just like a regular tooth cleaning and even have that fresh, “just had my teeth cleaned” feeling.
- Sealants block cavities from forming and taking hold in the tiniest parts of a tooth. It’s impossible for a toothbrush to get in to those places but with sealants, bacteria is stopped in its tracks.
- Sealant application usually only takes about 5 minutes per tooth and is very affordable.
- The benefits of dental sealants have been proven with decades of research and application. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim sealants are capable of reducing or altogether eliminating common, invasive procedures such as crowns.
Sealants Have Staying Power
Contrary to their simple application process and invisible appearance, dental sealants can easily last up to ten years. They are widely regarded as one of the most important aspects of a young child’s preventative care.
In fact, many dentists suggest sealants for baby teeth as well. Applying sealant early keeps a child’s mouth healthier as they grow and teaches them good habits right from the start. This is welcome and positive news as recent data shows that 40 percent of children are riddled with cavities before they reach school age.
Much of this is due to the widespread consumption of sugar in beverages, snacks, and even daily meals. Thorough and regular oral care is the first defense in fighting cavities but sealants are an unstoppable force.
Are There Any Downsides?
Not everything is perfect, of course, and there are a few disadvantages with sealants. They do need to be reapplied if they fall out or wear. Sometimes, excess material must be drilled out or completely removed.
There is also some concern about BPA levels in the sealant material; however, research in that area is still in play.
For more information on dental sealants and to discuss options, call San Diego Children’s Dentistry at (858) 264-2265.