Protecting Children’s Teeth For the Future

A Safety Net For Young Teeth

Did you know that school-age children who do not have sealants applied to their teeth have three times more cavities than children with sealants? That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which said in October 2016 that only 43% of children 6 to 11 years of age have sealants.

In Washington state, nearly 40% of kindergarteners have cavities and 58% of third graders have them. Tooth decay is still the most common chronic childhood disease in the US.
While brushing and flossing are great ways to prevent cavities, the back teeth do not always get the best out of brushing and flossing. Because of their posterior position, molars and premolars are not always easy to clean, and besides, their uneven top surfaces provide attractive places for food debris to lodge and get colonized by bacteria. Fluoride in toothpaste and in drinking water protects the smooth surfaces of teeth but the back teeth need extra protection.

A safe and affordable safety net can be provided by sealants. Painted as liquid on the surfaces of molars, this thin, almost translucent coating made from plastic sticks to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and then quickly hardens via light curing. You have actually provided a physical barrier against food debris and bacterial attack.

Sealants can last many years and save time and money in the long run by avoiding fillings, crowns, or caps used to fix decayed teeth. Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but it is best to start early, like around the age of 6 through 12. Both primary and permanent molars benefit from sealants. Adult teeth can have sealants too, provided their back teeth are still carries-free and without fillings.

How safe are sealants? Unless it’s an allergic reaction, sealants have no known other ill-effects. Now if you’re concerned about BPA in dental sealants, the common chemical in plastic products, talk to your child’s dentist. There are dental sealant materials available that are without BPA. Your child’s dentist will help you decide which option is best for your child.

Safe Sealants in West Seattle

Like we use to say, where dental health is concerned, it is better to start early. Have your kid’s molars protected from tooth decay by way of sealants. It’s safe, painless and affordable, a preventive measure in oral care by your dentist in West Seattle.