The Centers for Disease Control reported that around 42 percent of children get cavities in their baby teeth and 21 percent of kids get cavities in their permanent teeth all before age 12. However, doctors have a simple procedure that will help protect their teeth where brushing and flossing can’t.
“Dental sealants are a process of which we go in, we will cover the grooves of permanent and baby teeth to help seal off, hence the name sealants, the grooves from getting bacterial content so that you are less likely to get cavities” Dr. William Parker said.
The dentist will simply apply an adhesive gel followed by the sealant and then a special light is used to dry it. The whole process will take just a couple of minutes.
“Hopefully when we put them on that they will stay until either when the baby teeth are gone or they could stay on probably five to six years. We do check them every time they come in for their exam and if we do need to replace them, we do that at the same time” Dr Parker said.
One big misconception is that children’s baby teeth don’t really matter because they will eventually fall out, but Dr. Parker said that neglecting baby teeth can lead to a lifetime of oral health issues.
“We have to protect those baby teeth because they serve a function of getting in there and maintaining the space for those permanent teeth.”
On top of getting sealants, Dr. Parker also recommended taking your kids to the dentist every six months for cleanings starting as young as one year old, watching your kid’s consumption of sweets, and making sure that they are brushing twice daily under parental supervision.
The Centers for Disease Control also reported that “Once applied, sealants protect against 80 percent of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years.”
For more information, you can visit https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns