Shield Your Children’s Teeth Today from Tomorrow’s Decay
“Get into the Groove’ might make for a lively Madonna song. But it’s not the path you want dental decay to take in your child’s mouth. Indeed, those hard to reach crevices on your child’s back teeth can act like bacteria magnets for food particles, sticky candy treats and even healthy snacks like raisins.
“The back teeth, called molars, are our most unevenly-surfaced teeth,” explains Dr. Lamb. “Those small grooves and crevices can be difficult to reach by even the best brushers and therefore harder to keep clean.”
luoride, found in some toothpastes and drinking water, can offer some protection against cavities, but Lamb recommends parents bring their children in for an even better cavity “shield” – sealants.
The application of dental sealants is a safe, simple and pain-free office procedure. A plastic-like resin is painted on to the chewing surface of your child’s molars as well as the teeth just before that, known as the pre-molars. Those teeth surfaces are subsequently completely protected from decay-causing bacteria.
Sealants are usually applied as soon as the first molars come in before decay has a chance to form. That’s usually somewhere between age five and seven for the first permanent molars and then again between 11 and 14 for the second set.
Other sealant facts:
• Sealants are safe, easy to apply, pain-free and 100% effective
• More than 80% of cavities form in the back of the mouth
• Most insurance companies cover tooth sealants
• While sealants last up to 10 years, they’re not permanent
“Sealants are one of the best ‘invest now and reap the benefits later’ aspects of dental treatment,” sums up Dr. Lamb. “But regular brushing, flossing and check-ups are still necessary to keep your child’s teeth clean and detect early dental disease.”