Dental sealants act as a protective teeth shield and a complementary measure to prevent cavities. But what exactly is a dental sealant? This article addresses the functionality of dental sealants as complements to regular hygiene in kids and to prevent eventual baby teeth loss.
“The best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss our teeth after meals.” We had heard this repeatedly so many times when we were kids, and even today, we keep listening to the same advice as adults. Time passes, and as parents, we now have a clear idea of the importance of proper oral hygiene habits, and we do our best to convey this message to our kids.
However, sometimes this is a difficult task to do, and even if our kids brush their teeth, it is still a little hard to get them to create a habit and clean all the nooks and crannies of their mouths. Numerous causes, including increased sugar consumption, have led early childhood cavities to become the main chronic problem in kids. In fact, according to the CDC, 45.8% of all kids aged 2 to 19 had dental caries on their teeth. Sadly, the core problem of cavities and tooth decay is the eventual loss of baby teeth.
Losing baby teeth earlier than expected creates a gap as permanent teeth erupt later. Therefore, one of the most critical explanations delivered to parents by pediatric dentists is the importance of prevention, especially during childhood and early teen years. Dental sealants are dentistry products that overcome this issue. Sealants provide extra protection for your kid against cavities and decay; and potential early baby tooth loss.
What Is a Dental Sealant?
When dentists refer to the occlusal part of a tooth, they talk about the chewing side that makes contact with other teeth at biting. Additionally, dentists also tend to mention enamel, which is the tooth’s surface. Bacteria accumulation produces acids that penetrate the surface (enamel) of teeth; once this layer corrodes, tooth decay produces holes known as cavities. Cavities might form on any tooth part, including the chewing (occlusal) part.
A dental sealant is a micro coating film of material that covers the occlusal enamel of teeth. In other words, the chewing surface of teeth. Once teeth get sealed, it helps prevent bacteria from accumulating on the enamel of the occlusal part of teeth. Even though dental sealants effectively protect teeth, they are not a replacement for regular hygiene habits (brushing and flossing).
Dental sealants are a preventive and complementary measure to protect teeth. Of course, proper oral hygiene habits are a must, and we should never forget that “the best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss our teeth after meals.” However, dental sealants are an excellent complement to regular teeth brushing and flossing.
To get a better idea of how they work, dental sealants and good hygiene habits (brushing and flossing teeth) can reduce up to an 80% the chance of getting cavities in molars. Remember that molars are the teeth we use to chew food, so it is crucial to protect them, especially for children. In fact, children lacking dental sealants are three times more exposed to cavities than children layer protected.
It Is All About Prevention
The good news is dental sealants are not only for kids. Adults can also ask a dentist about dental sealants. Notwithstanding, oral health professionals recommend getting dental sealants early and during childhood. We really want to help parents know about all the tips to avoid early childhood caries and let their children enjoy great dental health.
Remember we mentioned molars are important as they are the teeth we use to chew? It happens that molars are also the first permanent teeth to erupt at age six. So, as parents, we can start taking preventive action and get our kids to Dr. Surillo’s Pediatric Dentistry for a consult on dental sealants for your kiddo.
How Does a Pediatric Dentist Apply Dental Sealants?
The first step is cleaning the teeth. After clearing the surface of any debris, the dentist will remove moisture before applying a special gel to the teeth. The gel roughens the surface of a kid’s teeth, preparing them for the next step.
After a few minutes and once the teeth surfaces are rough enough, the pediatric dentist rinses off the gel and dries the teeth. Then they paint the dental sealant on the surface of the teeth. With the help of a special light, the sealant hardens.
Then, with an appropriate practice of a good oral care routine, you can rest with the assurance that the tooth fairy will visit your kid only to collect baby teeth that falls naturally.
Dental sealants are an excellent option for your kid as sealants last for many years. We invite parents to ask about dental sealants and schedule an appointment. You can call Dr. Surillo’s office at 619-461-6166, and he will gladly take good care of your child’s oral health.