While many kids brush their teeth twice each day and floss every evening, there are others who may forget, or don’t do it long enough or very effectively. Even those who follow a terrific oral hygiene routine can develop tooth decay. Dental sealants are a simple solution to what can become an overwhelming problem over time.
Brushing and flossing do help remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of the teeth, but the bristles can’t reach all the way into the nooks and crannies. This is where sealants come in: they protect the more vulnerable areas of the teeth by filling the small holes and pits that most people have. Dental sealants are made from a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, acting as a barrier to help prevent cavities.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental sealants reduce cavities by 86% in the first year following application, and by 58% after four years. This saves a lot of money over time, as the cost of treating a cavity can be expensive, especially for those without dental insurance. In almost every case, applying dental sealants to your child’s teeth early will cost less than needing corrective treatment later on.
Dental sealants are usually applied to the back teeth, where the chewing surfaces on molars and premolars get the most action and generally develop the most tooth decay. The barrier provided by sealants also protects the enamel from plaque and acids. Sealants are durable, and hold up well during normal chewing. They will last for several years before a reapplication may be needed. During regular office visits, your child’s dentist will assess the condition of any sealants and reapply if necessary. For more information about the benefits of dental sealants for your child, please contact:
1121 Warren Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515