Brushing and flossing your teeth can remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of your teeth, but you can’t always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the debris and plaque. Dental sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food. Children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. This way, the dental sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Usually, sealants are made of a special type of plastic. The sealant is applied in a thin coat to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars), and fills in the deep pits and grooves that put you at risk of developing tooth decay.
Dental sealants have been around since the 1960’s and have proven to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80 percent because most cavities occur in molars, which are hard to reach and more difficult to brush. This is especially important when it comes to your child’s dental health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children. According to the CDC, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.”
Who Should Get Sealants?
Children and cavity-free adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier they are applied, the better, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Sealing molars as soon as they come in can keep them cavity-free from the very beginning. The earlier in life they are applied, the greater protection sealants offer, but it’s never too late to protect any chewing surface that is free from tooth decay with sealants.
Sealants can eliminate the need for expensive and invasive treatments like dental fillings or crowns in the back teeth.
Tooth decay is a major dental issue for children, teens and adults alike, and as with almost any medical issue, it is beneficial to take preventive measures before a larger problem presents itself.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants are very durable, and in most cases, last up to 10 years. Everyone is different, however, and sometimes sealants need to be reapplied. Dr. Angela S. Evanson, DDS, will check them at every visit to make sure they’re doing their job, and a sealant can be reapplied if it has come loose.
Oral Care is An Everyday Affair
Dental sealants are not a substitute for brushing and flossing. Nothing takes the place of good oral care. Your daily oral care routine should include the following:
- Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss your teeth once a day. This helps remove plaque from between your teeth—another area your toothbrush can’t reach.
- See Dr. Evanson every six months for professional cleaning and examination. Check-ups every six months are recommended by the ADA because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.
Dr. Evanson is committed to excellence and provides expert dental care for the whole family. Located in Parker, Colorado, she also provides dental treatment to the surrounding communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree. Call (720) 409-0008 to make an appointment or contact us online.
With regular dental checkups, Dr. Evanson will know when your child’s back teeth start surfacing during the most cavity-prone years. Sealants, along with good daily oral care at home, are all part of a complete dental health plan to help prevent cavities.Leave a reply →