American Dental Association studies have shown that 42% of children between the ages of 6 and 19 have signs of dental decay. The decay caused by bacteria and sugars leads to pain and expensive fillings, and sometimes even with the most diligent brushing routines it can’t be avoided. However, the application of sealants is a great way to avoid these issues for your children.
What Are Sealants
A sealant is thin coating of plastic that can be fitted to teeth. Teeth are properly cleaned, and then coated with a liquid that hardens, keeping them safe from food particles and acids that can lead to decay over time. Sealants are especially for the back teeth where brushing can be difficult and fluoride doesn’t always help to properly protect from decay. These teeth are lager and rougher, their ridges more easily trap food particles. For these teeth, a sealant is the best way to keep your children’s teeth safe.
When Should Sealants Be Applied
As soon as your child’s teeth come in is the best time to get a sealant. First molars come in between the ages of 5 and 7, the second set arrives between 11 and 14. Protecting these teeth early with a sealant is the best way to prevent any future decay. Since sealants are especially effective against teeth that are particularly ridged and grooved, they might be helpful for more than just molars. As your children’s teeth are developing, talk to your pediatric dentist about the possibility of sealants at the first opportunity. They will be able to best advise you on whether they are the best option.
Sealants last on average 10 years, but they do require regular check-ups. In general, they are easily repaired if there is any wear or damage. In comparison to the cost and hassle of procedures used to reverse decay, this could be a much more effective and easier alternative. Of course, even with sealants, all of the standard techniques for keeping teeth healthy and decay free should still be implements. Brushing, flossing, and limiting the amount of acids and candies will always be the best way to help your children’s teeth develop properly.