Your family dentist has probably offered dental sealants for your child, but what exactly are the benefits and why do dentists highly recommend them? When used alongside a proper dental care regime, sealants will help maintain dental health and provide additional protection for the hard-to-reach grooves of your teeth.
What are dental sealants and when should children get them?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are placed on children’s teeth to seal out food and bacteria that could cause cavities. The procedure is simple and painless and can be done by your dentist. Dental sealants are often recommended when a child’s first permanent molars come in, typically around the age of 6. They can last for up to 10 years, but need to be checked regularly by your dentist or dental hygienist to ensure they aren’t chipped or worn away. Sealants can also be used for teenagers and young adults who are prone to tooth decay. Just consult your dentist at your next check-up!
Dental sealants prevent cavities and decay.
The main benefit of dental sealants is that they greatly help to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Since back molars can be difficult to reach, especially for children, the extra protection to cover those chewing surfaces keeps food and germs from decaying teeth. Sealants can be especially helpful for teeth with deep pits and groves. Multiple studies have been done that prove the benefits of dental sealants. A systematic review by the Cochrane Collaboration found that sealants can reduce cavities for at least four years after they are applied. Similarly, one randomized trial that followed children with and without dental sealants found that 77% of teeth without sealants had cavities compared to 27% with sealants. The numbers don’t lie!
By getting dental sealants early on, you will save money by avoiding the cost of fillings, crowns or caps to treat cavities and tooth decay. In most cases, dental sealant applications cost less than filling a cavity. As it does in many situations, prevention measures pay off big in the long run! So, when a dentist offers sealants for your child, think of it as a way to protect teeth and save money. For more information on dental sealants, visit the ADA’s website.
If you’re ready to schedule a dental sealant appointment in Eugene, Oregon, contact Dentistry at the Ten today! We not only specialize in general and cosmetic dentistry, but family dentistry as well.