Children and sugar are a natural combination and have been for years. Sugar provides a boost of energy for an active child who wants to spend the entire afternoon playing outside. Even parents who don’t let their kids eat candy or drink soda still consider an orange or apple a healthy snack. However, when it comes to tooth decay, the sugar source doesn’t matter. All sugar can cause bacteria colonies in the mouth to thrive.
Applying a thin layer of protective material called a dental sealant keeps food debris from settling in the grooves and crevices of teeth. This protective coating could help your child enjoy fewer cavities and healthier teeth as she grows up.
Pits and Fissures
Molars are riddled with tiny crevices and folds. These aren’t cracks, but rather natural pockets in the tooth’s surface to create a tight fit between the upper and lower jaws. These features help break down food particles so they can be digested in the stomach.
Unfortunately, pits and fissures in the bite surface of molars also do a terrific job of trapping food. Thorough brushing and flossing dislodges nearly all trapped particles, but some usually remain in the deepest sections where the bristles can’t quite reach. Most children don’t spend the recommended two minutes brushing their teeth and often inadvertently skip over the teeth in the very back. It can be hard to encourage your child to brush the back of the molars if the toothbrush makes her gag or choke when it touches that part of her mouth. Sealants are an excellent way to ensure your child’s molars stay healthy as she develops better brushing habits.
What is a Sealant?
Thin and transparent liquid that is hardened with a special light, sealants mold perfectly to the teeth to produce a shield that doesn’t interfere with chewing and isn’t noticeable at all. Even your child won’t be able to tell she has sealants on her teeth. Sealants are primarily installed on biting surfaces of permanent molars and won’t change your child’s smile or bite pattern.
Enjoy Years of Steady Protection
Sealants are a semi-permanent product. There’s no need to make regular visits to reapply or adjust them. Dr. Evanson simply applies the sealant anytime after your child gets her first permanent molars around age 6. At each six-month cleaning, she checks to make sure the sealants are still in good condition. You may also choose to have sealants applied to your child’s 12-year molars when these erupt. Normally, only one additional sealant application is needed by the time your child turns 18.
If your child puts heavier wear and tear on her teeth, you also have the option of reapplying the sealant on an annual or bi-annual basis. Damage to the teeth from acidic drinks or improper diet may call for regular updates to the sealing layer as well. The sealant gradually wears away as your child chews and brushes her teeth. No expensive removal services are required.
Many protective treatments are temporary and only provide benefits for people at high risk for damage. However, sealants last long enough on your child’s teeth to really make a difference in her overall dental health. According to The Huffington Post, research conducted on a large group of children shows that kids between 5 and 10 years old who received sealants had 50% less decay on molar chewing surfaces than children that went without them. This reduction in decay could prevent many cavities and subsequent fillings and crowns.
In the end, sealants allow your child to graduate from adolescence with strong, intact teeth set up to last the rest of her life. Contact Dr. Evanson online or call our office at (720) 409-0008 to schedule an appointment for your child.Leave a reply →