Children are especially vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities. From sugary snacks and drinks to poor brushing technique, most children can use a little extra help with oral hygiene and cavity prevention. In addition to eating a healthy diet and practicing good oral hygiene, dental sealants can help to protect your children’s teeth and lower their risk of developing cavities.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care and Orthodontics, our dentists Dr. Nathalie Phaeton, Dr. Ki Youn Kil, and our dentistry staff offer a range of pediatric dentistry services at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
How teeth sealants lower the risk of cavities in children
Sealants are like a protective layer between teeth and cavity-causing bacteria. In addition to covering the teeth, they also smooth out the chewing surfaces of the molars to make it easier for children to brush their teeth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sealants prevent up to 80% of cavities from developing in the back teeth, where the majority of cavities develop. The back teeth can be especially difficult for children to reach when brushing, which increases the risk of bacteria buildup and subsequent tooth decay.
How much of a problem are childhood cavities?
Tooth decay is one of the most common pediatric health problems. To make matters worse, many cases of tooth decay in children go untreated. According to the CDC, at least one in five of children between the ages of five and 11 have at least one untreated cavity. And that has consequences. Studies have found that poor oral health can lead to difficulties with eating, speaking, and even learning. Students with dental issues see higher absenteeism rates, lower grades, and decreased overall academic performance.
Sealants provide long-term protection against cavities and make your children’s oral hygiene practices more effective. By flattening the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, there are fewer places for bacteria to hide.
Good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular dental checkups and cleanings are the best weapons against tooth decay and oral health problems. Given the high levels of untreated tooth decay among children and teenagers, sealants provide that extra layer of protection that children need to protect their teeth from cavities. Statistics show that tooth decay drops by 80% in children within two years of getting dental sealants.
For more information about how sealants work and whether they’re a good option for your children, call us at 703-498-2440 or schedule an appointment online today.