Our nation’s oral health has achieved some great improvements, but some significant issues still remain. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication stated that although dental sealants prevent over 80 percent of dental cavities, only 1 in 3 children aged 6 to 8 has a dental sealant, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Learn why dental sealants are important.
Dental sealants are thin coatings a dentist or hygienist paints on teeth to protect them from cavities. The material enters the deep grooves of teeth and then hardens immediately so it can block out decay and allow the child to chew right away.
The application process of dental sealants is easy, painless and quick. It is one of the most effective ways to reduce cavities.
Tooth pain and oral disease caused by untreated cavities can lead to infection, problems eating, speaking, and learning. That’s why looking for ways to reduce cavities and practice preventive dentistry is so important.
Dental sealants are especially important for the back molars, where 9 in 10 cavities occur. The deep grooves and pits found in these back molars are a perfect trap for unwanted food debris. And, if the grooves and pits aren’t sealed off, it doesn’t matter how much you brush, it will be nearly impossible to safeguard those teeth from cavities. This is because the toothbrush just can’t reach those areas of the teeth.
Worried that a dental sealant may be mistakenly placed over a small cavity? Don’t worry. Decay will not spread, because the cavity is sealed off from its food and germ supply.
According to the CDC, “Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. Children aged 6 to 11 years without sealants have almost three times more first molar cavities than children with sealants.”
Sealants can last up to 10 years. However, Dr. Botero will check them regularly at your bi-annual dental check-up to make sure they are not chipped or worn away. Sealants are easily repaired by adding more sealant material.
As we mentioned earlier, application of dental sealant is an easy, pain-free procedure. The whole process takes just a few minutes to seal each tooth. Here is what your child can expect:
Dental sealants are especially helpful for safeguarding developing teeth. So, the most common age groups that receive them are ages six to fourteen. However, it is never too late to seal out tooth decay. If you haven’t had your teeth sealed, talk to Dr. Botero today about the advantages.
One of the troubling things about tooth decay is often painful symptoms don’t surface until you have some serious tooth decay present. Tooth decay is a silent attacker in your mouth. Because of this, it is easy to think that everything is okay with your oral health with the measures you are taking. In some cases, this is true. But, studies have shown that teeth with sealants fare much better than teeth without.
Tooth decay permanently damages areas in your teeth and can lead to tiny holes (cavities) that can lead to more serious problems like toothache, infection and tooth loss.
Preventing tooth decay is what Li’l Sunshine Smiles Dentistry is all about. Our tooth decay treatments include dental sealants, fluoride, fillings, and crowns. Severe cases may necessitate a root canal or tooth removal.
Oral health is a group effort. A visit to your Li’l Sunshine Smiles dental home can help you learn more about treatments to keep smiles bright and white. Dental sealants were invented in the 1960s and endorsed by the National Institutes of Health, the CDC and the United States Surgeon General in 1983. Call to schedule an appointment at 813-576-0200!