Parents take care of their own teeth as best they can by brushing and flossing every day. On top of self-care, parents also fill in for their children in the area of oral care and so much more. Making sure that children do not suffer the pain of cavities can be a big task, even when you are also mindful about seeing the dentist every six months. We want to suggest a little something that may help: dental sealants.
Where Trouble may be Lurking
When you look at your teeth, you will notice that their surfaces are marked with ridges. There are ridges on the biting and chewing surfaces so we are better able to break food into small pieces. On the back teeth, in particular, these ridges are more like high peaks and low valleys. The valleys are so low here that debris from food can become trapped. Where there is debris, there will be bacteria. And where there are bacteria, there will be decay at some point.
How Dental Sealants Can Help
What we most frequently think of when considering how to reduce the risk of cavities is fluoride. When children are old enough, they may begin brushing with fluoridated toothpaste. Many water sources are also fluoridated. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel so the uppermost layer of tooth material can resist weakening from acidity. Dental sealants are different.
Dental sealants are specifically used on back teeth, in those deep grooves that attract food and microorganisms. The process of application is simple; we “paint” on a liquid solution and allow it to seep down into the depths of each molar’s surface. Then, the material is cured into a hardened, durable coating. Once sealants are cured, no one can even tell they are there.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
The primary benefit of dental sealants for children is that this coverage significantly reduces the risk of cavity formation on the chewing surface of back teeth. Additionally, sealants:
- Take only a few minutes to apply, making a comfortable process for even younger children.
- Stay in place for about 4 years. They are examined during routine checkups to ensure they are intact and doing their job.
- Reduce cavity risk by approximately 90% during the first year. Thereafter, risk reduction sits at 60% when combined with good brushing and flossing habits.
- Can minimize dental costs related to cavity repair.
Learn more about dental sealants when you contact Children 1st in Houston, Mesquite, or Grand Prairie.