Cavities are largely preventable. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the major health problems affecting American children. According to data availed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 40 percent of children aged between 6 and 11 are affected by cavities. Without treatment, childhood cavities can have a lasting, detrimental impact on a child’s oral and overall well-being.
A great way to protect your child from early dental caries is through dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic or resin coatings applied to the back teeth to form a protective barrier against cavities. Sealants are recommended for the back teeth because these teeth have deep grooves that trap bacteria and food debris. Unfortunately, even with consistent brushing, your child may not effectively clean the deep grooves of the molars and premolars. An effective, tried and tested way to resolve this issue is by ensuring the cavity-causing substances never reach the tooth enamel of the molars and premolars.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying sealant material to a tooth requires only a few minutes. The dentist first cleans the teeth and then roughens them to encourage the sealant material to adhere to the surfaces. After painting on the sealant material, the dentist cures it with a curing light. This process is entirely painless and doesn’t call for anesthesia.
Once applied, sealants protect against 80 percent of cavities during the first two years and 50 percent of cavities for the next four years. After that, if the sealants chip or become worn, the dentist can reapply to ensure continued protection against cavities.
Are Sealants Important?
Sealants are a highly integral part of your child’s preventive dental care. Sealants are recommended for children between the ages of 6 and 11 since these ages are susceptible to cavities. You can get sealants if you’re older, as long as you don’t have any cavities or fillings.
We recommend combining sealants with other dental hygiene best practices, including brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular exams and cleanings. Regular fluoride treatments also supplement the effectiveness of dental sealants by strengthening tooth enamel through remineralization.
To get sealants in Portland, OR, don’t hesitate to contact Pham Dental Care today.