Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting American children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, our pediatric dentists can recommend dental sealants for children at higher risk for cavities.
Even if your child brushes and flosses every day, they could be leaving behind dental plaque on back teeth where it’s hard to reach. A covers the fissures and pits on the chewing surface so plaque doesn’t have a place to hide.
Prevent a Mouth Full of Cavities
Tooth decay is a common issue we see with our young patients. Fortunately, your child’s pediatric dentist is able to prevent most cavities with dental sealants. A tooth sealant covers the surface of your child’s molar so it doesn’t collect food particles and plaque.
Dental sealants help reduce the risk of tooth decay in the long run by providing an extra layer of protection between your child’s teeth and everything that can cause tooth decay.
Tooth decay is caused by plaque, an invisible film of bacteria that builds up on your child’s teeth. Plaque feeds on sugar and starch left behind on your child’s teeth before producing acids that erode enamel.
It’s important that you schedule your child’s routine teeth cleaning and oral examination every 6 months so we can remove plaque buildup and monitor oral health. Otherwise, plaque buildup can lead to and even gum disease.
Dental sealants fall under preventative dentistry. Now, restorative dentistry is important because while we don’t like it, problems happen and they need to be fixed. Preventative dentistry is always preferred if possible because it’s better to prevent a problem than have to react to it.
Avoid Teeth Fillings
No one likes the sound of a dental drill, especially when it’s meant for them. Fortunately, dental sealants are designed to prevent plaque buildup on back teeth. That way, your child can get a clean bill of health during their next appointment with us.
To place a dental filling, we would have to remove decayed tooth matter. Your child’s dentist would then restore the tooth with a cavity filling made from amalgam or composite resin. In contrast, the procedure to apply dental sealants is noninvasive.
First, we would need to clean and roughen the surface of your child’s tooth. Next, their dentist would paint the sealant onto the surface. Dental sealants are able to last several years, some even surviving into adulthood.
Maintain a Beautiful Healthy Smile
Our dentists want to help your child build a strong foundation for oral health. For this reason, we may recommend dental sealants if we see that your child is prone to tooth decay. Other ways to protect your child’s oral health include enforcing teeth brushing and scheduling their appointments with us every 6 months.
Dental sealants are best for patients who have deep pits and divots in their back teeth. Recent studies have even hinted at a connection between genetics and a person’s susceptibility to tooth decay. Fortunately, your child’s dentist can use dental sealants to prevent future cavities from forming.
Request an Appointment
Aren’t sure if dental sealants are the right choice for your child’s smile? Ask their pediatric dentist about what you can do to prevent tooth decay and other issues that compromise oral health. We provide pediatric dental care because we understand the challenges of treating a growing smile.
Dr. Brett, Dr. Grady, and their team do everything they can to help your child maintain a healthy smile. To schedule your child’s appointment with our Grand Rapids pediatric dentist, call Mitten Kids Dentistry at (616) 942-9840.
This blog post has been updated.