Childhood cavities are incredibly common. In fact, more than 50% of children ages 6-8 have had at least one cavity in their baby (primary) teeth. Younger children are especially vulnerable to developing tooth decay, because they’re still learning how to brush and floss properly.
However, just because catities are common in children doesn’t mean nothing can be done about it. Dental sealants can help protect a child’s teeth from cavities.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics in Falls Church, Virginia, Nathalie Phaeton, DDS, and Ki Youn Kil, DDS, offer pediatric dentistry services for children and adolescents. In this blog, they talk about what dental sealants are and how they can help keep tooth decay at bay.
The basics of dental sealants
Dental sealants are protective coatings that are put on the chewing surfaces of molars to help keep out bacteria. Furthermore, sealants fill in the grooves of the molars, creating a flat surface, which can make it easier for children to brush their back teeth.
Sealants consist of a liquid resin, which is painted onto the teeth, which then dries and hardens to create a durable and lasting coat. Sealants can last for several years, and they have proven to be effective in lowering the risk of tooth decay.
Sealants are typically recommended for permanent teeth, but our team may recommend them if your child’s baby teeth have deep grooves and uneven surfaces, or if they have an increased risk of developing cavities.
The procedure is noninvasive, anesthesia is not needed, and the sealants are applied during a routine office visit. Before recommending sealants, our dentists perform a thorough dental exam and cleaning.
Lowering your child’s risk for cavities and other oral health issues
It’s never too early to focus on your child’s oral health and wellness. Our dentists recommend scheduling your child’s first dental appointment around six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.
Like adults, children need a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental care to prevent the development of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. In addition to brushing and flossing every day and eating a healthy diet, children should see a dentist every six months for a dental exam and professional cleaning.
If it’s been more than six months since your child’s last dental exam, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Our team can clean your child’s teeth, monitor any potential issues, and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
To learn more about dental sealants or the other pediatric dentistry services we offer, call 703-483-9933 or book an appointment online with Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics.