Brushing, flossing and oral rinses are the best way to keep your mouth clean and prevent cavities. However, due to the shape of some molars, it can be difficult to thoroughly clean each crease and crevice. Sometimes food, and then bacteria, can get caught in these small spaces and cause cavities in even the most conscientious brusher.
For these situations, and often in children, the dentist may recommend a sealant. Dental sealants are thin coatings painted on cleaned teeth and provide a protective layer and guard against food particles becoming stuck in the small valley of the tooth surface. While sealants cannot protect teeth on its own, when added to a proper hygiene routine, it decreases the chance of decay by nearly 80%. According to the CDC, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with dental sealants.”
Parents sometimes ask question about the chemicals used in sealants and we certainly understand the concern. We are happy to discuss all current research on the risks and benefits of sealants – and the choice is always left up to the parent. However, as dental professionals, our training and education show that the benefits are too great for the oral and overall health of the children to ignore. Dental sealants can help save teeth.
Did you know that sealants are not just for children? We have used sealants for adults who have chipped a tooth, or who have ground down teeth as well. This is a great solution to reduce the risk of cavities in people of all ages. It is generally used on children because they have deep grooves and because their brushing routine is sometimes lax, however, we do use sealants in a fair number of adult patients when the situation calls for it.
If you have questions about the application of sealants for your child, (or for you), we are here to answer any questions. Just give us a call today to set up your next appointment.