Article provided by: Park Ridge Dental Associates
At Park Ridge Dental Associates, we routinely recommend sealants for kids because their chewing teeth have folds and buckles that trap food, which is often missed by brushing. Sealants can effectively reduce the occurrence of cavities. The best part? Adults of all ages can benefit from sealants too.
According to the CDC, school-aged children without dental sealants have nearly three times the tooth decay as kids who do. What does it mean for you? Lost time from school for your kids, and time off work for you. Not to mention unnecessary pain for your kids and for your pocketbook.
Here’s how they work.
Dental sealants are clear or white plastic coatings we can apply to the chewing surface of the back teeth, where cavities are most likely to form. Because the sealant material is fluid when applied, it effectively fills the grooves of molars and bonds securely to the tooth to create a barrier (seal) against decay-causing bacteria in the mouth. This physical barrier also prevents food from sticking in deep crevasses. They work best protecting new teeth, which makes them ideal for children.
Depending on your child’s chewing patterns, the sealants can last from six months to several years. We will check them at every appointment to make sure they are still doing their job properly. Sealants aren’t designed for areas between the back teeth or for front teeth. And teeth that already have fillings or decay cannot usually be sealed.
It takes only a few minutes to apply the sealant and give your child’s teeth years of insurance against decay. There's no drilling or freezing.
In addition to helping kids prevent cavities, sealants can help save adult smiles under many circumstances…
Brushing dexterity – For many reasons, some people find that brushing effectively can be physically challenging.
Change in habits – When young adults leave the nest, many experience a change in hygiene habits and diet.
Introduction of medicines – Many medicines cause dry mouth. Lower saliva levels (leading to lower enamel remineralization and lower acid neutralization) can lead to cavities.
When should sealants be applied?
For kids, it’s best to apply sealants shortly after their primary molars emerge – usually between 1 and 3 years – and again once their permanent teeth begin to erupt – usually between age 6 and 13. For adults, we can apply sealants any time there’s a risk of decay, no matter how small.
Remember – dental sealants don’t take the place of brushing, flossing, and healthy eating. But using them is a proven and painless technique that can help preserve your child’s smile for a lifetime. To learn more about dental sealants in Park Ridge, call today!Dental Sealants Park Ridge
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