Children should learn about oral hygiene at a very young age. While you want your child to have perfect teeth, they cannot maintain them without some help. One way to protect your children’s teeth is through dental sealants. Brushing and flossing still remain the best ways to prevent cavities. However, children cannot always reach the back of the teeth where dental plaque hides.
Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied on the chewing surface of the teeth. They are made from plastic or other dental materials, making it hard for plaque and other food materials to stick on teeth. According to research, dental sealants have shown the capability to reduce the risk of cavities by 80 percent. Children can get dental sealants from the age of five to seven when the permanent molars erupt.
Bacteria that cause cavities tend to live on the surface of teeth. With time, these bacteria produce acids that can cause cavities. Dental sealants offer a protective layer on the surface of the teeth, like raincoats do to people. Dental sealants keep leftover food from settling on the surface of the teeth, keeping bacteria away.
The process of applying dental sealants is fast and easy. Since the procedure is non-invasive, your child does not require anesthesia or a numbing agent because it is not painful. Dental sealants are safe and pose no risk to your child.
Parents should be actively engaged in maintaining their children’s oral health. Teach your child how to properly brush and floss and ensure they stick to this good habit. You don’t have to wait until your child develops dental problems to take them to the dentist.
Your dentist can check if there are any existing fissures and pits in your child’s teeth. Your dentist may recommend dental sealants before any problems arise, ensuring protection for your child’s dental health.
As mentioned earlier, sealants are like raincoats that help keep plaque from settling on the teeth. When plaque is not removed immediately, it produces bacteria that can result in multiple problems. Dental sealants can help your child prevent oral diseases such as:
Destruction of the tooth enamel
Early gum disease or gingivitis
Food particles tend to stick at the back of the teeth, especially in the premolars and molars. Reaching these areas through brushing and flossing can be hard for a child. Even if you miss a single particle, it can result in plaque buildup. Plaque is the yellowish, sticky film that forms on the surface of teeth. Dental sealants help prevent plaque buildup. By simply rinsing, your child can rid any food particles that may have stuck between the teeth.
Even with healthy teeth, it is possible to have hollows and grooves on the surface of the back teeth. Dental sealants help smoothen any fissures and pits, making it difficult for food particles to hide and cause decay.
Remember, dental sealants are not a substitute for brushing and flossing. Even with dental sealants, you should encourage your child to maintain good oral health. Another way of protecting your children’s oral health includes scheduling their dental appointments after every six months.
For more on the benefits of dental sealants for children or to schedule an appointment, call O.C. Lakes Dental at our office in Irvine, California at (949) 356-7860 today.