What are Sealants and How Effective Are They in Preventing Cavities in Kids?

Did you know that cavities affect 300,000 children each year alone? In fact, cavities are classified as a chronic childhood disease. They’re even the number one most common chronic disease your child can get. 

At Modern Age Dentistry, Dr. Ali Saeghi and his team are here to ensure you and your family get the best in dental care. That’s why they’ve compiled this helpful guide to Sealants and why they’re so effective at protecting your child’s teeth. 

Why cavities are a big problem

Cavities form when starches and sugars — left on your child’s teeth for long periods of time — are fed on by bacteria, leaving acid that then breaks down their teeth and causes decay. Cavities can actually form as early as when your child’s teeth first begin to erupt. 

Cavities present a problem to the development of children’s teeth. They can also negatively impact your child’s speech, diet, sleep, and quality of life. You may even think that cavities aren’t a huge problem if your child has them on their baby teeth. But, having cavities on their baby teeth does increase your child’s risk of developing cavities on their permanent teeth.  

How sealants prevent cavities

Sealants are applied through a liquid that we brush on your child’s teeth. This liquid hardens over their teeth to form a thin plastic-like coating. The coating protects your child’s teeth, including the crevices, valleys, and grooves that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. 

This coating effectively protects your child’s teeth from cavities and tooth decay. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities for two years after they’re applied. They then continue to protect your child’s teeth against 50% of cavities for four years after they’re placed. 

Considering the high success rate sealants have with protecting your child’s teeth, it’s a wonder they aren’t more common. In fact, only 60% of children between the ages of six and 11 get dental sealants, even though sealants are usually covered by insurance.     

For the best chance at preventing cavities, we recommend that your child get sealants as soon as their first set of molars emerge. This typically happens around the age of six. When your child’s second set of molars comes in, at around 12 years old, you’ll want to have them come in for a sealant on those as well.  

To make an appointment, call us or book a time right on our website, today!

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