Why Should you do Dental Sealants?
All teeth have natural grooves and valleys on their enamel surfaces, these valleys and grooves on our molars (back teeth) serve to help us to chew up the foods we eat in order to swallow them. Unfortunately, those places on our teeth are also very attractive places for sugars, harmful bacteria, and acids to hide from our toothbrushes; particularly when our kids are the ones doing the brushing. Dental sealants are a common procedure we perform and are fully prevention focused. The sealant acts as a protective layer for the tooth to “seal-in” the tooth’s pits and grooves and “seal-out” the sugars, bacteria, and acids. The sealant can also be used as a coating for the teeth to cover any tooth fissures that may be present.
We apply the sealant to the tooth to cover these deep groves and valleys to help prevent tooth decay on the molars in these hard-to-reach places on teeth. According to the Center for Disease Control (the CDC), “nine out of 10 cavities in children occur on their back teeth. Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.”
We apply them to both primary teeth (baby teeth) and permanent teeth. Applying them to primary teeth may seem unnecessary upon first thought. But a parent should consider that caring for primary teeth, even though they will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth, is an important part of maintaining your child’s dental health. Consider that when one tooth is victim to a cavity, those bacteria can spread to the neighboring teeth. Also consider that prevention is an important part of ensuring your child has a positive attitude about dental care. The less frequently more invasive services are required for your child’s teeth, the more likely they are to feel positive about routine dental visits.