How young were you when you first suffered from toothache – 6 or 9, perhaps?
The Center for Disease Control Prevention reports that for the first time in 40 years, the US is once again experiencing a rise in the number of preschoolers and even toddlers with six to 10 (or more) cavities.
Today, it is possible to raise a child without tooth decay. But to achieve this, parents must provide effective oral care and health practices from infancy.
Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association, advises, “Parents should be asking for sealants and not taking no for an answer.”
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of one or more teeth to avoid dental caries. They are more commonly applied to the back teeth; the molars and premolars where decay occurs most often.
Dental Sealant Know-Hows for Tip-Top Teeth
- Sealants work best if applied soon after these molars emerge, that means children between 5 and 15 years old would benefit most from sealants.
- These are usually applied twice - at age 6, when the first molars come in, and when the second molars erupt, around age 12.
- Single application of dental sealants has been found to be about 80-90% effective after one year and about 55-85% effective after 8-10 years, with only a small percentage becoming decayed.
- As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from cavities.
- Sealants normally hold up well may last several years before a reapplication is needed.
- Your dentist will check the condition of your child’s sealants and reapply them when necessary during regular appointments
Brushing and flossing alone cannot always get into all the pits in the teeth and the hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. Dental sealants act as a perfect barrier to prevent your kids from painful cavities.
Give us a call if you think you need sealants for your kids. We’ll be happy to help them have a lifetime of healthy and cavity-free smile!