What you need to know about dental sealants
According to a recent report performed by the CDC, 50% of children aged 9-11 have dental sealants on permanent six and twelve year molars. Chances are you have a child with sealants or you have discussed sealants with a dental professional. We want to make sure you have all the resources you need to make an educated dental sealant decision for your child.
What Are Sealants?
Sealant material is a thin plastic that is applied to the tooth with a brush by your dentist. Sealant material bonds directly to the tooth creating a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Sealants match the natural tooth color, so when a child smiles or talks the material cannot be seen. Sealants typically last between 5-10 years and can be easily re-applied by a dentist if the material wears away.
Why Dental Sealants?
Molars are more susceptible to dental caries because of their hard to reach location, and they tend to have larger grooves for bacteria to hide. Sealants help protect molars from tooth decay. Dental sealants are a part of a comprehensive preventative plan, not a replacement for brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, visiting your dentist and limiting sugary food.
Dental caries still remains to be the most common chronic disease of children 6 to 19 years of age, it is important to take preventative measures to keep those teeth healthy and happy. Sealants assist in decay prevention—decay weakens teeth and can cause lifelong issues for patients—and are a better alternative to fixing decay.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions about sealants or other dental health issues. If you want to continue research on the subject, here is a link to the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA provides links to studies, a fact sheet from the CDC and other informative articles about sealants.