Did you know that tooth decay affects most children in the United States? It is one of the most prevalent childhood diseases to make the rounds.
What Are Cavities?
Cavities happen as a result of tooth decay—they form when germs, food particles, acid, and bacteria combine with saliva and sugar from the food and drinks we enjoy to create plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that coats our enamel and eventually dissolves the surface of our teeth, creating holes that we know as cavities.
Our tooth enamel is the strongest substance in our bodies, but it still has weak points. It coats our teeth and forms a natural protective shield from harmful bacteria and infection. Protecting your child's teeth from an early age is integral to preventing tooth decay in their permanent teeth.
We can help prevent cavities through regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings. Your dentist may suggest dental sealants as additional protection against cavities and tooth decay.
How Can Dental Sealants Help?
Dental sealants are thin, protective, plastic coatings that your dentist paints over your child's teeth. They are easy to apply, and they bond directly to the tooth and harden in place. The composite material gets into deep ridges and grooves on the surfaces and protects the enamel from sugars, acids, and plaque. Bad bacteria like to live and dwell in the grooves and depressions on the tooth, which is why these are prone to cavities.
Dental sealants can prevent up to 80% of cavities, and they can help both baby and permanent teeth. Once applied, the sealant can last for a lifetime, but may need to be refilled from natural wear and tear. Sealants can handle the pressure of normal chewing and can last for a long time before a reapplication is necessary.
Your dentist will be able to check your teeth and sealants to determine their condition and if more action is needed.
Sealants Protect Where Your Toothbrush Can't Clean
Even the best brushing and flossing in the world can't completely get rid of cavity-forming debris since some grooves and depressions are so deep or hard to reach with your toothbrush. Dental sealants can add extra protection to these vulnerable areas and seal out plaque and sugars.
Children are extra susceptible to tooth decay early in life, so it's beneficial to prevent dental issues from occurring. Even adults can benefit from the application of dental sealants, especially those who are easily prone to cavities.
Combining Dental Sealants with Prevention to Maintain Healthy Smiles
Prevention is the best way to fight childhood oral health diseases and infections, so we recommend the following:
- Brush twice a day with a dentist-recommended toothpaste
- Floss once a day
- Eat nutritious and balanced foods with limited sugar
- No sodas or extremely sugary drinks
- Maintain regular dental check-ups
- Protect teeth with dental sealants
Prevent Childhood Cavities Today
If you are interested in learning more about protecting your child's baby and adult teeth, or if dental sealants could benefit your family, please give us a call today.