AS PARENTS, our children’s well-being is always our #1 priority, and their oral health is a big part of that. It’s important to take good care of baby teeth, but what can we do to ensure that their permanent teeth get off to a good start?
A Child’s Risk Of Tooth Decay
Did you know that 40 percent of children will develop cavities by the time they reach kindergarten? Poor oral hygiene habits, sugary and sticky snacks can result in severe tooth decay in baby teeth, and genetics sometimes contribute to the problem as well.
As important as baby teeth are, it’s even more important to protect incoming adult teeth from decay, because those are the final set of teeth your child will have! At Burman Dental, we want them to stay healthy and strong for a lifetime. One way of ensuring that a child has a lower risk for tooth decay is applying dental sealants to the permanent molars.
Dental Sealants Protect Hard-to-Reach Areas
Most of us have deep valleys and crevices between the peaks of our molars. Those can be very difficult spots to keep clean and decay-causing bacteria thrive there. That’s where a dental sealant comes in. Dental sealants serve as a barrier against bacteria and food particles settling in molar crevices. It doesn’t make up for slacking off in the brushing and flossing department, but it does give adult teeth extra protection against decay.
The ideal time for your child to get dental sealants is shortly after their adult molars erupt, which usually begins around age six. The sooner the sealants are in place, the less of an opportunity bacteria have of setting up shop in those hard-to-brush crevices.
Sealant Application Is Simple
Applying the sealant to teeth is simple, quick, noninvasive, and painless. First, the teeth are gently brushed and cleaned. Then, they are blown dry before being painted with special gel. The clear plastic coating is applied to the deeper grooves of the biting surface of the molars next. In order to harden this coating, we use a special light. Sealants can last from five to ten years, and we make sure to keep an eye on them when your child returns for their dental check-up.
Sealants Are Only One Part Of The Equation
Never forget that sealants are only part of the dental health equation for any child. It’s crucial to encourage good daily brushing and flossing habits. A healthy diet (specifically one in which sugary treats, sodas, and fruit juices are rare) will make it harder for tooth decay to encroach on tooth surfaces. And, of course, bringing your child in for regular dental appointments will enable us to spot problems earlier and make sure everything remains on track.
We’re in the business of protecting your family’s smile!