When it comes to ensuring your child’s teeth are healthy, establishing a relationship with a pediatric dentistry is an important step in helping children learn good oral habits and catching cavities and other common issues early on. A pediatric dentist is skilled in taking care of both primary and adult teeth and is familiar with…
Do Pediatric Dentists Recommend Dental Sealants?
If you have a child who is between the ages of five and 14, your pediatric dentist may recommend dental sealants. You may not know that the most chronic childhood condition in the United States is tooth decay. For example, in Washington state alone, more than half of all third graders have cavities. The good news is that cavities are entirely preventable.
What causes cavities?
When a child drinks and eats, cavities can start to form. Mouths naturally have bacteria and germs in them. However, when the sugars from foods are added to the mix, a chemical reaction can occur. The bacteria in the mouth feed on the foods, which causes acid to form. Over time, this can wear away the enamel on the teeth.
Children’s enamel is not fully formed yet. This means that cavities can form more easily in children’s mouths. Pediatric dentists emphasize the importance of cavity prevention. If the baby teeth decay, permanent teeth can also decay. For children, learning how to floss and brush can prevent cavities. And this is why pediatric dentists recommend getting dental sealants.
In the back of a child’s mouth, there are teeth known as 12-year molars. Many baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth starting around the age of seven. However, the 12-year molars can remain in a child’s mouth until, or even after, the age of 12. Because these molars must last for longer, it is vital to protect them.
Unfortunately, the 12-year molars have deeper grooves than the permanent molars do. This means it can be difficult for a child to fully clean the area twice a day. However, pediatric dentists recommend dental sealants because they can reduce cavities by as much as 80%. By covering the deep grooves in the teeth, children will not need to worry about brushing the area thoroughly.
The first molars usually come in around the age of six. Even though the second molars have not come in, it is a good idea to get a first round of dental sealants. After the second set of molars come in around the age of 12, children can get more dental sealants. Each sealant will last for about nine years. After this, the child may need new ones.
Misconceptions about dental sealants
One misconception about dental sealants is that they can cover a cavity. However, if a child already has a cavity, then a sealant will not prevent the bacteria from spreading. Children who have cavities in the molars should have the cavities filled first. It is a good idea for a child to get sealants in place before cavities develop.
Choose pediatric dentists today
Dental sealants may not be right for every child. However, many children can benefit from this type of treatment. It can help prevent cavities during the vulnerable years of tooth development. Taking children to pediatric dentists is a good idea. This allows dentists to determine if sealants are right for your children.
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