February 6, 2018
Did you know that you’re most vulnerable to getting cavities at a young age? In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay in children has reached epidemic proportions in recent years. Based on a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42 percent of children aged 2 to 11 have had cavities in their baby teeth and 21 percent of those aged 6 to 11 have had cavities in their permanent teeth.
To protect your child from tooth decay, your pediatric dentist in Midland offers dental sealants as a solution.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that cover the chewing surfaces of teeth, specifically the premolars and molars. They are commonly used in dental practices across the country because of the additional risk children have for getting cavities. They are painless and quite effective at protecting the small grooves and cracks found in molars.
Applying dental sealants is a very simple procedure. First, your pediatric dentist in Midland cleans the tooth and then applies cotton around the tooth to keep it dry. Then, they apply a rough solution for the sealant to stick to before rinsing and drying it again. After applying more cotton, they apply the sealant to the tooth, which dries in seconds.
Why are Dental Sealants Recommended?
Sealants are first and foremost used to prevent tooth decay, specifically in children. Even if your child exhibits excellent brushing technique, their molars require a little extra defense. Since molars have very small grooves, food and bacteria can get easily caught inside them, making it difficult for children to remove.
Furthermore, dental sealants are a great way to prevent costly fillings in the future. They act as a second line of defense to your child’s new brushing and flossing regimen. Think of them as training wheels that aid in their protection from decay-causing bacteria as they perfect their brushing technique.
When Should Dental Sealants Be Applied?
As soon as your child’s permanent teeth come in, they should have dental sealants applied. Your children’s dentist in Midland will likely recommend sealants on your child’s first permanent molars (which erupt between the ages of 5 and 7) and their second permanent molars (which erupt between the ages of 11 and 14.) On average, dental sealants last up to 10 years, but need to be checked at regular exams to make sure they haven’t worn away.
Your dentist may recommend applying dental sealants on other teeth as well if they have pits or grooves similar to molars. In fact, if your dentist determines you’re at high risk for tooth decay, they may recommend them even if you’re a teenager or adult.
To fight the epidemic of early tooth decay, your pediatric dentist in Midland recommends dental sealants. Schedule an appointment for your child today to reduce their risk of cavities!
About the Author
Dr. Weston Jones earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and his Doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve School of Dentistry. He then completed his Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan where he also served as chief resident. To learn more about his pediatric dental treatments and practice, contact him at (432) 231-1011 or visit his website.
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