Kids grow up fast. By the time they enter kindergarten, 40% of kids will get their first cavities.
Where Plaque Starts
Plaque begins to form from foods that are inherently sugary along with poor oral hygiene routines. Making sure our kids are brushing twice a day is a start at ensuring our kid’s teeth are protected. Building long-lasting habits when it comes to proper care of teeth and gums is a great place to start along with visits to your Colorado Springs Dentist. As kids start to grow up, having a solid routine when it comes to plaque and cavity prevention is a must for our kids.
Another helpful tip is adding sealants to your teeth. Dental sealants are a great way to reduce the growth of plaque and ultimately tooth decay.
What Exactly Are Dental Sealants?
Think of dental sealants as a protective barrier that protects teeth. The dentist applies a thin layer of clear plastic while brushing it across teeth, but mainly on the surfaces meant for chewing such as molars. This seals the tooth and blocks cavities from forming because of bacteria.
Dental sealants have been around since the 1960s and continue to be a popular choice in cavity prevention. In fact, they work so well, that sealants have shown to reduce decay by as much as 80%. Kids with zero sealants run the risk of getting a cavity at an amount three times higher than that of those who have received dental sealants.
Molars are the prime area where sealants are applied and are the most common. This is where the majority of chewing happens and where food can become easily loadged thus propagating the decay process. The molars are typically hard to clean with a toothbrush alone, hence the need for sealants.
How Do Sealants Work?
Dental sealants are applied with a minimal amount of work. An easy dental process for the most part that only takes a few minutes and is painless.
The first step is cleaning and polishing the teeth, removing any food debris within the mouth. After the tooth is examined, plaque removed and cleaned, the tooth is then dried. From there, a gel is applied to the tooth to help bond the sealant in a thin layer on the tooth. This process repeats one more time and then, finally, the sealant is brushed on to the tooth in a thin layer.
A light is then applied to help dry the sealant and re-examined to make sure everything looks good. Once dried and cleared the sealant hardening is ready for chewing.
When Should I Get Dental Sealants For My Kids?
Just as soon as your child’s permanent teeth start to come in is the right time to consider dental sealants to protect your child from plaque and cavities. The sooner sealants are added, the better to permanent teeth.
A typical child’s molars begin to appear around ages 6 to 7. Protecting a tooth from the start is important as food can easily wedge itself in between these important teeth. You still can receive sealants, even if you are an adult but its never to early to start.
Protecting Your Child’s Teeth With Dental Sealants
A smile is a beautiful thing and a big priority when it comes to your kid’s health. Sealants are a perfect way to help protect your little one’s teeth (and your own). If you have questions about dental sealants or wish to schedule an appointment for your child, give us a call. We are all about family dentistry and doing what is best for our patients.